Thomas L. Smith

Published 3:22 pm Wednesday, November 15, 2023

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GATES, NC – Thomas Luther “Tom” Smith, 80, of 180 Reynoldson Road, died Tuesday, November 14, 2023 in Sentara Obici Hospital, Suffolk, VA.

Mr. Smith was born in Gatesville on January 11, 1943 and was one of five sons born to the late John Lee, Sr. and Genevieve Brown Smith. He attended Chowan College and later graduated from Atlantic Christian College before beginning a career in education by teaching at Chucatuck High School and Suffolk High School. Later he received his Masters from Appalachian State University and his Sixth Year Diploma in Professional Education and became the Headmaster at St. Timothy’s School in Raleigh. After moving to Virginia, he served as the principal at elementary schools in Lawrenceville and taught GED classes in Brunswick County. After retirement he continued to assist others in furthering their education in the GED program.

Active in the communities in which he lived, he was a member of South Hill, VA Masonic Lodge #297, had served as President of the South Hill Rotary Club, was a member and officer of the Gates Ruritan Club, had served as Treasurer of the Gates County Rodeo Committee, was a member of the Gates Senior Men’s Club, and a faithful member and Deacon of Reynoldson Baptist Church.

Surviving are his brothers, John Lee “Jack” Smith, Jr. (wife, Carole), Bradford Brown Smith (wife, Sandra, deceased), James Wayne “Jimmy” Smith, and Samuel Tracy Smith (wife, Debbie), all of Gates; four nieces, Megan Frank (Ben), Corrie Ellas (Gary), Lindsay Broshears (Dan), and Nikki Smith (Corey); two nephews, John Lee Smith, III (wife, Melody) and Walter Smith (Lauren); and two great-nieces, Hannah Ellas and Genevieve Jones.

The family will receive friends Friday, Nov. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall of Reynoldson Baptist Church, or at other times friends are invited to visit any of the brother’s respective homes.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Nov. 18 at 2:00 p.m. in Reynoldson Baptist Church and will be conducted by his friend and pastor, The Rev. Cody Brinkley. The burial in the church cemetery will be followed by a reception in the fellowship hall.

Flowers are welcomed, or contributions in his memory may be made to Reynoldson Baptist Church, P.O. Box 308, or to the Gates Ruritan Club, in care of Don Gregory, P.O. Box 55, both in Gates, NC 27937.

Miller Funeral Home, 304 Main Street, Gatesville, is assisting the family with arrangements and online condolences may be made by visiting