Gary Smith


CLEVELAND Gary Kent Smith died Thursday, May 12, 2011, at his family's summer home on the Hiwassee River.He was born on Jan. 24, 1938, in Athens, Tenn., a son of the late M.C. "Tip" and Frances Higgins Smith. He spent his boyhood in Charleston and Cleveland and on the Smith farm on Benton Pike at the head of Chatata Valley. He attended Mayfield and Arnold Elementary Schools, and graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1955 and from the University of Tennessee in 1960. In 1960 he married Marguerite Miles, his wife of 50 years; theirs was a marriage conspicuous for their mutual devotion and loyalty.In a career of 44 years with American Uniform Co. of Cleveland, he became Vice President of Finance in 1968, President and Treasurer in 1971, and in 1975 Chief Executive Officer. He served in this capacity until retiring in 2004. Mr. Smith was involved in a wide variety of civic and public activities. He served as a member of the Cleveland Board of Education, the Boards of Directors of the Cleveland Country Club and the Cleveland Utilities, and as President of YMCA Board of Directors. He was for many years a member of the Official Board of Broad Street United Methodist Church; and he served as Co-Chairman of the Cleveland-Bradley County United Way and as and a member of the United Way's Tocqueville Society.Mr. Smith contributed greatly to the economic life of Bradley County through his active membership in Cleveland Associated Industries, as a director for 35 years of the Cleveland National Bank, subsequently Am South, and then Regions and as president of the Junior Achievement Association of Cleveland and Bradley County. In 1995, he received the M.C. Headrick Free Enterprise Award, honoring one in business who exemplifies integrity, character, compassion, generosity, and hard work, all qualities that characterized his life not only professionally but also personally.While at Bradley Central High School, Mr. Smith won varsity letters in basketball under the coaching of his father, the legendary "Tip" Smith. A keen quail hunter, he also enjoyed tennis, bridge, and most of all, playing golf with his friends at home and abroad until ill health made this impossible.Mr. Smith is survived by his wife, Marguerite "Muggs" Smith; by his children, Kent and Karen Smith, Alan and Kelly Smith, Leslie Smith Christian and Lindsey Smith; seven grandchildren, Megan Smith, Katie Smith, Jordan Smith, Caroline Smith, Miles Christian, Parker Smith and Kent Christian, all of Cleveland; his brother, Don A. Smith, of Grinnell, Iowa; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Richard and Claire Miles, of Rochester, N.Y.; by his sister-in-law, Almeda Miles, of Cleveland, and by many nieces, nephews and cousins.A funeral service will be conducted at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 14, 2011, at the Broad Street United Methodist Church in Cleveland, Tenn., with the Rev. Reed Shell officiating. Interment will follow in Hillcrest cemetery.The family will receive friends at the church today, May 13, 2011, from 7-9 p.m. and Saturday, May 14, 2011 from 10 a.m.-noon prior to the service. Pallbearers will be Tom Becktold, John Elliott, Dr. Danny Hays, Roger Jenne, Dr. C.A. Kyle, Fred Lester, Dr. Ed McIntyre, Sam McReynolds, Robert Thompson and Buck Thorogood. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Bradley County High School boys basketball team.The family suggests memorials be made to Broad Street United Methodist Church, 155 Central Ave., NW Cleveland, TN 37311, or to Hospice of Chattanooga, P.O. Box 19269, Chattanooga, TN 37416.If you are unable to attend this service or visitation you may sign the guest register at Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Athens is serving the family of Gary Kent Smith.

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