Cover photo for William Gerald "Jerry" Smith's Obituary
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1942 Jerry 2024

William Gerald "Jerry" Smith

August 15, 1942 — January 30, 2024

Buies Creek

Buies Creek, NC: Mr. William Gerald “Jerry” Smith age 81, passed away on Tuesday, January 30, 2024 at Wake Medical Center in Raleigh, NC. Funeral Services will be 1:00PM-Saturday, February 10, 2024 at Memorial Baptist Church in Buies Creek. Rev. Ed Beddingfield will officiate. Burial will follow in Buies Creek Cemetery in Buies Creek. 

Jerry was born on August 15, 1942 in Wilson County, NC to the late Ivey Graham and Katie Jones Smith. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Sheri Smith Eubanks; a grandson, Zachary Keith Eubanks; and a brother, Bob Smith. 

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Linda Andrews Smith; children, Jerri Lynn S. McLamb and husband, Travis of Coats, William Gerald “Bill” Smith, Jr. and wife, Jennifer of Raleigh; grandchildren, Leanne Eubanks Cooper and husband, Mitch, Brett Thomas McLamb and wife, Sydney, Parker William Smith, Hillary Batchelor Smith, Blair Francis Smith; great-grandchildren, Bobbi Leigh and J. D. Cooper; brother, Jimmy Smith and wife, Connie of Farmville; several nieces and nephews.

Jerry graduated from Campbell College in 1964 and began his career as a coach and an educator that same year at Dunn High School.   After three years in Dunn, Smith became the Head Basketball Coach at Bertie High School in Windsor.  He had a very successful 10 year run at Bertie and won the NC High School 3A Championship in 1970.  In 1977, Jerry was hired as the Head Basketball Coach at Chowan College.  He guided Chowan to three straight 20 win seasons before returning to his alma mater as the Assistant Basketball Coach in 1980.  Over the next five years Jerry also served Campbell as the Assistant Athletic Director, Head Men’s Golf Coach, and was the Head Basketball Coach for two years.

In the fall of 1985, Jerry returned to his career in high school administration as the Assistant Principal at South Johnston High School.  Over the next 23 years Smith touched the lives of thousands of North Carolina teenagers, serving as the Principal of Louisburg High School (1990-1993), Greene Central High School (1993-1996) and finishing his career at Clayton High School (1996-2008).  Jerry received numerous honors throughout his career including multiple Principal of the Year awards.  When he retired in 2008, Jerry received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award from Governor Mike Easley.  This is the highest honor awarded from the Governor and is reserved for people who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments.  

Jerry introduced the following code in all the high schools where he was principal.  The code is well known and still used today.

BE – Be where you are supposed to be, when you are supposed to be,

DO – Do what you are supposed to do the way you are supposed to do it,

SAY – Say what you are supposed to say when you are supposed to say it,

RESPECT – Have respect for yourself and other people, their rights and property.

The family will receive friends from 6:00PM to 8:00PM on Friday, February 9, 2024 at Memorial Baptist Church in Buies Creek. 

Flowers welcomed; however, donations may be made to Memorial Baptist Church, P.O. Box 485, Buies Creek, NC 27506.

The family appreciates your thoughts and prayers.

Arrangements by Rose & Graham Funeral Home in Benson, NC.    

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, February 9, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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