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Judge Gilbert A. SmithMay 10, 1923 ~ October 24, 2017 (age 94)
Judge Gilbert A. Smith, Sr. of Due West, South Carolina, was born on May 10, 1923, in Arcadia, Florida. His parents were Cook Hall Smith and Grace Gilbert. He and Alpha Shuler Smith were married in 1949 and lived in Florida until moving to Due West in 1998.
Judge Smith attended local schools in Arcadia and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in June 1942. He served in the Navy until 1947 and participated in several amphibious invasions during the Second World War including the D day invasion of France in 1944. After he was honorably discharged, he enrolled as a student at the University of Florida and graduated from law school in 1951. He has been a member of the Florida Bar since that time.
Judge Smith had a long and interesting career. While in high school, he worked with his father in the electrical and refrigeration business. In the Navy, he was a graduate of diesel school and was a motor machinist. After law school, he practiced law until he was appointed Circuit Judge in 1971. In the 20 years he practiced law, he did jury trial work and represented the Florida State Road Department and the Florida Turnpike Authority throughout the state. He served as Circuit Judge until his retirement in 1991 during which time he served as Chief Judge for eight years. After his retirement, he served as Senior Judge until 1998 when he and Alpha moved to Due West. He served as Municipal Judge of Due West from 2003 to 2009. He served as President of The National Conference of Metropolitan Courts in 1987-88 and President of the Due West Lions Club in 2004-05.
Judge and Mrs. Smith and their children were members of the Palma Sola Presbyterian Church in Bradenton, Florida for 34 years where Jack Wolf (Erskine ’52) was pastor. Judge Smith was a Ruling Elder for several terms, a member of the Building Committee who constructed the new sanctuary and served as Chairman of the Diaconate. He also served as Chairman of the Boy Scout Committee; his two sons are both Eagle Scouts.
In addition to his parents he was predeceased by his brother, Chesterfield H. Smith, who was former President of the American Bar Association, and a sister, Virginia Ruth Lambeth. He is survived by his wife, Alpha Shuler Smith and four children, Kembra L. Smith (Bill Lowe) of Decatur, Georgia, Gilbert A. Smith, Jr. (Anita) of Bradenton, Florida, Brooks S. Smith (Martha) of Rome, Georgia, and Kace L. Smith (Mark Fulghum) of Columbia, South Carolina. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Kembra Kathryn Landry, Justin S. Smith, Amy Brantley Hendrix (Thomas), and Shannon Couch. In addition, he has one great-grandchild and seven nieces and nephews.
He enjoyed living in Due West and the love and support he received from all.
The family will receive friends 5:30PM – 7:30PM, Friday, October 27, 2017 at Harris Funeral Home, Abbeville, South Carolina. Funeral services will be 1:00PM, Saturday, October 28, 2017 in the Due West Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military honors.
Memorial contributions, in memory of Judge Smith, may be sent to Due West Lions Club, c/o Conway Shirley, Treasurer, PO Box 566, Due West, SC 29639 or Legal Aid of Manasota, 1101 6th Ave. W Ste 111, Bradenton, Florida 34205.
A message of condolence may be sent to the family by visiting www.harrisfuneral.com.
Harris Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Abbeville is assisting the Smith family.
Due West Lions Club
c/o Conway Shirley, Treasurer, PO Box 566, Due West SC 29639
Legal Aid of Manasota
1101 6th Ave. W Ste. 111, Bradenton FL 34205