Darrell Smith, 84, of Norwood, passed away at home after a short battle with colon cancer on May 13, 2023. Darrell was born in Stanly County, NC to Lennox and Georgia (Cooper) Smith on January 31, 1939.
Darrell is survived by his wife of 62 years, Marlene Smith, daughters Jan (Guy) Wilkerson, of Winston-Salem, NC; Ginger Grimes of Charlotte, NC; four grandchildren, Kidd (Katelyn) Wilkerson, Chelsi Wilkerson, Kane Wilkerson, Drake (Alec) Beauchamp, of Winston-Salem, NC; and three great-grandchildren, Roby and Cooper Beauchamp and Whit Wilkerson; and one brother, Dwight Smith of Norwood, NC. Darrell was preceded in death by his parents, Lennox and Georgia, and son-in-law, Jim Grimes.
Words can’t adequately describe Darrell. His presence alone spoke volumes without him having to say a word, and if you paid attention you might have learned something valuable. He was a proud, simple, selfless, and hardworking man all of his life. As a young lad at 12 years old, he sold eggs, worked at Peeble’s Department Store, and helped with the big family garden. During high school he had three jobs, he delivered papers, worked at Page’s, and for his daddy at Smith’s Grocery. He was awarded a baseball scholarship to pitch for Campbell College, but he chose to commit to the family business and keep on working. He built Smith’s Food Store in 1958; and later, he, his dad and brother opened a store in Aquadale, NC. He was also a co-owner of a knitting mill in Oakboro, NC. He retired at age 43 and continued his true passion of farming. He loved nurturing the land, animals such as cows and hogs, and planting huge vegetable gardens. It brought him so much pride and joy to raise his girls on the farm and instill his strong work ethic into them. They always looked up to him as their John Wayne. On Darrell and Marlene’s mantel, you’ll not only find pictures of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but also of their dogs. Darrell had a fondness for boxers and bred and raised them for several years. He was also a lifelong, diehard New York Yankees fan.
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” - Greek proverb
The simple life is an authentic life. Good people do good things for other people, and Darrell was the epitome of a good man. He once said, “In order to have a good neighbor, you have to be a good neighbor.” He lived that truth through and through. He was giving, honest, loyal and true to his word. No matter who you were, you could have faith in Darrell that he would always be there when called upon, and he’d even check up on you when you didn’t call. He gave his life to the lord, read his Bible every morning, and loved thy neighbor as thyself.
Darrell’s greatest treasure and love was his wife, Marlene. She was his most precious gift from the Lord.
Many will remember Darrell’s goatee, intent eyes and gifts from his harvest. Many will also remember Darrell as a man of few words, but when he spoke, it was best to listen. He said what he meant and meant what he said. He was the salt of the earth, and now he is the stars in our sky. He will be dearly missed by many.
A SPECIAL thank you to Angela, Wendy, Beth and Jalil with Hospice of Stanly as well as Konda and Ricky with Atrium Health Stanly for the empathy and compassion shown. A HUGE thank you to Buddy, Pam, Willy, Mary, and Roger.
The family will host a celebration of life at Porter Baptist Church at 16562 US-52, Norwood, NC 28128 on Friday, May 19th at 2pm, with visitation for family and friends following the service.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Stanly and the Uwharrie, 960 N. First Street, Albemarle, NC 28001 (www.http://hospiceofstanly.org ) or Porter Baptist Church, 16562 US Highway 52, Norwood, NC 28128.
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