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Willie D. Smith
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Willie D. Smith departed this life on July 16, 2023 surrounded by his loving family. He was born April 3, 1942, in Blakely, Georgia to Alex and Idel.
He is preceded in death by his parents; a sister Bessie; brothers: John “JT” and Edward. He is survived by his sister, Lois Conley of Blakely, Georgia and Alex Smith of Hilton, Georgia.
Willie lived a remarkable life. Living in the south taught Willie to disarm animosity with a smile and respect. When these tools did not work, he was a fierce fighter who feared no man black or white. As a result Willie was sent from Blakely, Georgia to preserve his life. Just a boy, Willie worked in Florida for many years. Later, he migrated to Washington, D.C., and then Charlottesville in 1969, where he operated a cement business and lived up to his childhood prediction that he would one day become a businessman.
“Every day is a good day” he would say. When his health began failing he would often say he was having one of those real good days. He never had a bad day. He was the same way every day with everyone. Confronting you with a smile and enthusiastically launching into one of his stories as if this was a memory he had never shared.
While many recall Willie as a man with superman strength, unafraid to stand up to anyone, some also recall a man who motivated others with business and life advice. He lived such a long life he would often say, “Tell me what you about to do and I can tell you what’s gon’ happen.”
Willie is preceded in death by his first wife, Hazel and Louise Graham, mother of his sons. He is survived by his wife Deborah. He is preceded in death by a daughter, Marguerite Flowers of Washington, D.C. He is survived by sons: Wayne Flowers and Patrick Smith both of Washington, D.C., and son, Willie Smith and daughter Ladi Smith both of Charlottesville. He has a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews whom he loved as his own. He is mourned by many who grew to love and consider him family. To all these, take comfort in his final words: “Tell them I love ‘em”.