Grover Leon Smith, 78, of Collins, died April 10, 2015 at Drew Memorial Hospital in Monticello.
He grew up in the Wells Bayou Community and attended Dumas schools. After graduating high school Mr. Smith attended Arkansas A&M College (now University of Arkansas at Monticello) where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. While attending A&M, he played baseball and was named All A.I.C.
Mr. Smith began his football coaching career in Star City, started the football program at Grady high school, coached in Gould, and ended his coaching career in Dermott. He was selected as an East All Star Coach in 1976 and 1994 after being awarded the District 8AA Coach of the Year. His all-consuming love of sports also lead him to refereeing countless basketball games in Southeast Arkansas. In 2010, he was inducted into the UAM Sports Hall of Fame.
Mr. Smith was a veteran having served in the Arkansas National Guard, and was a Mason. He served on the Board of Directors of the Ruth Veazey Endowment Scholarship Program. He was a member of the Norris Hunting Club on Big Island. He also a passion for raising cattle and was also a member of the Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association. He was a faithful and dedicated member of Temple Baptist Church where he taught Training Union, served as Chairman of the Homecoming Committee and led the singing for many years. Mr. Smith was an avid St. Louis Cardinal fan but most importantly he was the number one fan of all his grandchildren.
He was born in Dumas on August 28, 1936 to the late Grover G. and Ruth Norris Smith.
Other than his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Bobby Smith.
Survivors include his beloved wife, Demitra Sumner Smith; daughters, Michelle Horn of Monticello, Kim (Michael) Pesaresi of Collins, Ashleigh Smith Cantrell of Dumas, and Stephanie Smith (Bryan) Roades of Las Vegas, Nevada; a brother, Morris Smith of Dermott; grandchildren, Morgan Marie Cheramie, Leah Paige Lewis, Lauren Sydney Horn, Nathan Ryan Pesaresi, Lindsey Ruth Lewis, Olivia Adden Pesaresi, Kaitlyn Cheyenne Cantrell, Anna-Marie Pesaresi, Corgan James Roades, Eden Paige Roades and Ary Lee Roades; great-grandchildren, Makalyn, Tanner, Axel and Eli.
Visitation will be April 14 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m at Griffin-Culpepper Funeral Service in McGehee. Funeral Services will be held April 15 at 2 p.m. Temple Baptist Church in Dermott with Rev. Bob Franklin and Rev. Jody Gannaway officiating. Burial will be at Dermott Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Temple Baptist Church, P.O. Box 327, Dermott, AR 71638.