The Obit For Johnnie Smith

John G. "Johnnie" Smith

Published in The News & Observer on April 20, 2011

Mr. John Gerald "Johnnie" Smith, of Fuquay-Varina died Monday, April 18, 2011 as a result of an accident. A native of Harnett County, he was the son of the late Edgar Solomon and Estelle Byrd Smith.

Mr. Smith was preceded in death by two brothers, Theodore and Harold Smith.
He graduated from Lillington High School and Davidson College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business. He married Ola Kelly Avent of Fuquay-Varina on August 27, 1955. He served as a Lieutenant at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was also Athletic Director of the Seventh Infantry. While in service at Fort Benning, he trained six cycles of Basic Trainees and attained the ranking of First Lieutenant.

He always loved baseball and was a baseball pitcher in high school, college, and pro for the Baltimore Orioles. He played one summer with the Fayetteville Highlanders in the Class B Carolina League. He was a Merchandise Manager for Varina Wholesale and the Wickes Corporation.

After working for several years with the company located in Fuquay-Varina, he moved to Greenville, South Carolina, and later to Saginaw, Michigan. After twenty years with Wickes, he returned to Fuquay-Varina where he went into business for himself as a Manufacturers' Representative and formed the company John G. Smith and Associates. He represented fifteen separate companies in the Southeast United States and sold his company in 1998.

After twenty-two years, he retired and enjoyed fishing, hunting, and playing golf. He was a former member of the Flat Branch Presbyterian Church and served as Chairman of the Finance Committee for building the new church.

He later became a member of Christian Light Christian Church where he has served as a Sunday School teacher for the Men's Class, choir member, and Deacon since 1978.

His funeral service takes place at 11:00 a.m. Friday, April 22, 2011, at Christian Light Christian Church in Fuquay-Varina. Officiants are Rev. Jimmy Elliott and Rev. Tom Spence. Burial in the Church Cemetery.

Visitation is from 6:00-8:00 p.m., Thursday, April 21, 2011, at O'Quinn-Peebles Funeral Home.

Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to Christian Light Christian Church, 4351 Christian Light Road, Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Ola Kelly Avent Smith; son, Randy Gerald Smith and wife, Susan Moore Smith of Fuquay-Varina; daughter, Kelly Smith Bain and husband, Alton "Al" Deems Bain of Lillington; sister, Ann Funderburk and husband, Jim of Lillington; sister-in –law, Monteen B. Smith of Lynchburg, Virginia; 5 grandchildren, Jessica Vickers, Morgan Smith, Andrew Smith, Drew Bain and Daniel Bain.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to O'Quinn-Peebles Funeral Home.