Ernest Dillon Smith, 79, of Cabot, formerly of Hamburg and Lake Village, died November 22, 2013.
He was predeceased by his parents, Ernest and Juanita Smith of Watson, and three brothers, George, Terry, and Ricky Smith.
Mr. Smith is survived by his wife, Sheila Smith of Cabot; sons, Steve Smith of Lake Village and Richard Smith of Brighton, Tenn.; step-son, John Brian McBee of Vilonia; five grandchildren and one great-grandson; sisters, Mariam Ford of Little Rock and Dotsie Hebblin of Bryant.
He was as member of Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Cabot.
Mr. Smith received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Arkansas at Monticello and a Master’s Degree in School Administration from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
He began his public school education career in 1955 at Tillar and continued this career for 47 years.
He was employed with Lakeside School District in Lake Village and retired from Hamburg School District as principal of Portland Elementary School in Portland.
While principal at Portland Elementary, the school was recognized by the United States Department of Education as a School of Distinction. Mr. Smith and Portland Elementary were recognized as one of 21 high poverty, high-performing schools in the United States by the Heritage Foundation of Washington, D.C. The Washington Times and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette also featured an article entitled “Principals of Success” where once again Mr. Smith and Portland School were profiled.
Mr. Smith joined the Arkansas Army National Guard in 1955. During this career, he served as Company Commander of the 216th Medical Ambulance Company in Lake Village, Commander of the 125th Medical Battalion in North Little Rock, and Executive Officer of the 148th Evacuation Hospital at Camp Robinson. After 32 years of military service, he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army National Guard.
A memorial service will be conducted at Lakeside United Methodist Church in Lake Village on November 26 at 1 p.m. with Reverend Larry Charles officiating.
A private interment will be at Jennie Cemetery in Jennie Arkansas.
Arrangements are by Bishop Funeral Home of Lake Village.
Memorials may be made to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, 1 Children’s Way, Little Rock, AR 72202-3591.