Jesse H. Smith, 89, of Fayetteville, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, August 20, 2017.
He was born in Hapeville, Ga. on February 26, 1928 to the late William Eugene and Viola Smith.
Jesse attended Hapeville High School where he graduated as valedictorian. After high school, he played minor league baseball with the Georgia-Alabama League. He was offered a contract to play major league baseball but turned it down to attend college.
After receiving his Business Degree and his CPA License, he went to work for Rich’s Department Store and served as the Director of the Finance Department for 40 years. He married the girl next door, whom he met while picking berries in her backyard. He never lost his love for sports. He continued to play both baseball and basketball with various teams and began officiating basketball and baseball for high school and recreational teams. The highlight of his umpiring career was being asked to serve as the home plate umpire for the “Old Timers” game at the Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. The game ball, signed by many of his childhood baseball idols, was one of his prized possessions.
He was happiest when he was serving others. For many years, he led the Baptist Builders at Harp’s Crossing Baptist Church. Under his leadership this group traveled all over the Southeast helping build churches, renovate and repair churches and also offering help to people in the community. If he knew of a need, he did his best to find a way to meet that need. He loved his family, his church and his Lord. Every prayer he prayed ended with “bless us so that we might be a blessing to others”, and his life was his prayer fulfilled.
Jesse was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth Smith; sisters, Florence Harrison and Mary Irene Mahoney; brothers, James Smith, William Eugene Smith, Harry Smith, and Bob Smith, and his parents. He is survived by his son, Mike (Connie) Smith; daughter, Julia (David) Lotti; grandchildren, Aaron (Ashley) Bobo and Hannah (Robby) Dyer; great-grandchildren, Analeigh, Alizabeth, Allison Bobo and Molly Dyer; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral service is being held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 24, 2017 at Harp’s Crossing Baptist Church, Fayetteville, with Pastor Dennis Watson officiating. Burial will follow at College Park Cemetery, College Park. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 from 5-7 p.m. at Mowell Funeral Home, Fayetteville.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to The American Cancer Society, https://www.cancer.org/.
Carl J. Mowell & Son Funeral Home, Fayetteville – www.mowellfuneralhome.com