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1927 Alpha 2022

Alpha Kathryn Smith (Shuler)

September 29, 1927 — November 19, 2022

After 95 years of a full life devoted to her family, friends and church, on Saturday, November 19, 2022, Alpha Kathryn Shuler Smith passed away peacefully at Hospice Care of the Piedmont in Greenwood, South Carolina. She was born on September 29, 1927 to Matilda Kathryn Davis and Conrad Kemmerlin Shuler in Due West, South Carolina. Alpha was baptized at the Due West ARP Church by Dr. Jamie Pressley on December 23, 1928. She grew up in Due West and attended local schools. Alpha sang in the school and church choirs and played the piano. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Bible from Erskine College in 1948.

After college, Alpha moved to Ft. Ogden, Florida to begin her teaching career. She taught school for a year before meeting her future husband, Gilbert Alexander Smith, a law student at the University of Florida. In 1949, Alpha and Gilbert were married in Gainesville, Florida while he finished law school. Alpha lived in many towns throughout Florida as Gilbert was relocated to represent the Florida State Road Department and Florida Turnpike Authority. In 1960, Alpha and the family moved to Bradenton where Gilbert went into private practice. She resumed teaching school again when her youngest child began kindergarten. During the teachers strike in 1968, Alpha taught full time at Manatee Elementary School. Later, she also served as a substitute teacher at Palma Sola Elementary.

Alpha was extensively involved in the community, mostly with the organizations her children were involved in, including Palma Sola Presbyterian Church (Sunday School, Bible School), Brownies, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts (den mother), Boy Scouts and Parent Teacher Associations. She also sang in the choir at the church and served in many leadership positions including as an Elder and Clerk of the Session. Alpha was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Manatee Chapter and Service Club of Manatee County. After living in Bradenton for 38 years and after Gilbert retired as a circuit judge, they moved back to her birthplace, Due West, and bought back the farm where she grew up. Once there, Alpha got back involved in the community. She was a faithful member of the Due West ARP Church and involved in many programs. Alpha was a charter member of the Due West Lions Club. She became an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, John Bowie Chapter, Due West Book Club and Erskine College Alumni Association.

In addition to her parents, Alpha is predeceased by her husband, Gilbert, her brother, Conrad P. Shuler and sister, Simmie Cheatham. She is survived by four children: Kembra Louise Smith, Gilbert Alexander Smith, Jr. (Anita Barry), Brooks Stanhope Smith (Martha Salas) and Kace Leigh Smith (Mark Fulghum), four grandchildren: Kembra Kathryn Landry (Stephen Keck), Justin Stanhope Smith, Shannon Kirsten Gettinger (Hunter) and Amy Hendrix along with two great grand-children, Sophie Hendrix and Zepplin Lief Gettinger. She is also survived by Thomas Hendrix and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

Alpha was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother and her life revolved around her family and church. She loved living in Due West and entertaining at Mount Shuler. She loved people, wanted to serve God and was blessed with many friends. A funeral will be held on December 3, 2022 at 11:00 AM at the Due West ARP Church, 112 Main Street, South Carolina, 29639. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Alpha Smith Scholarship, Erskine College, 2 Washington Street, Due West, South Carolina, 29639.

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Harris Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Abbeville, South Carolina is assisting the Smith family.
To send flowers to the family in memory of Alpha Kathryn Smith (Shuler), please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, December 3, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Due West ARP Church Cemetery

N Main St, OH 45322

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