Earl "Coach" Smith
Published in The Daily
Reflector on August 7, 2012
FAYETTEVILLE - Norman
Earl "Coach" Smith passed away Sunday, August 5, 2012 at Cape
Fear Valley Hospital.
Born in Micro on May 27, 1917, he was preceded in death by his mother
and father Harvey and Madie Smith; and his younger siblings, Clinnon,
Floyd, David, Virgie, Pauline, and Ed.
His is survived by his devoted wife, Florence Smith. He is also survived
by his children, Ann Burrows of Greenville, David Smith and wife, Linda,
of New Orleans, and Robert Smith of Charleston, S.C.; stepchildren, Pamela
Richards and husband, Milani, of Fayetteville and Mary Whitfield and husband,
Robert, of Augusta, Ga.; and grandchildren, Scott Burrows, Melissa Marshburn
and husband, Christopher, Imogen Myslinski and Ryan, Mayde Pokorny and
husband, Dan, Blake Richards, Katherine Richards, Errol Smith, Sasha Watkins
and husband, John, Brian Whitfield, and Kristin Whitfield.
"Coach" Earl Smith had a prolific career in college sports spanning
over 30 years and culminating in his induction into the Pirate Hall of
Fame in 1977, the Campbell University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1986,
and finally the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.
After retiring as a coach he became a professional baseball scout for
the San Diego Padres.
"Coach" Earl Smith's career was both prolific and deeply personal.
His players were loved and remembered by him throughout his entire life,
and they honored their coach throughout the many years following their
respectable seasons. He was very proud of his career as a coach, scout,
and teacher, but this pride was rooted not in his accomplishments, but
rather the relationships he cultivated and the lives he influenced.
Much like his professional career, Earl Smith's personal life was something
to be honored and revered as well. He was a loving and strong father to
each of his children and step-children; a devoted and generous grandfather
to every grandchild, always eager to share a story of glory and grandeur
in all its varieties; and a thoughtful friend and companion to those closest
to him and any sort of curious soul.
And in a life filled with so much regard there was one spotlight Earl
shown on one special person: his wife Florence Smith. In the 30 years
they spent together, Florence and Earl Smith created the happiest of marriages
and friendships with one another, allowing their love to enfold the many
people around them. Earl Smith left this earth on a Sunday, the beginning
of the week and the holy day, the day we reserve for love.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the
Campbell University Athletic Department and East Carolina University Athletic
Funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 1 p.m. in Jernigan-Warren
Chapel with the Rev. Sherrill Boykin, the Rev. J.P. Johnson, and Dr. Dickey
Parrish, officiating. Burial will follow in Cumberland Memorial Gardens.
The family will receive family and friends at the funeral home Wednesday
from 11 a.m. till 12:45 p.m.
Services entrusted to Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home.