Mr. Michael Brian Smith, 76, of Pit Road, Blairsville, Ga., passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Friday Nov. 29, 2019 in the North East Georgia Medical Center. Mr. Smith was born on Jan. 19, 1943 in Mauldin, Mass., the son of the late Richard Robert Smith and the late Doris Howe Smith. He has been battling life with dementia and other health issues.
Mr. Smith was always happy, always smiling and telling or playing jokes and loved his family. He never met a stranger and always had a story to share. Michael retired from the CSX Rail Road after many years of service. Michael was a lifelong NASCAR fan.
He served as photographer for the North Georgia News, Towns County Herald and the Sanford Herald for many years. He was involved with the Waycross Motor Speedway and drove No. 36. He served as track stuart for several years at the Tri County Speedway in Murphy. He and his wife Judy were co-founders of the Butternut Creek Festival in Blairsville.
Michael was preceded in death by his parents and also two sisters and one brother in law, Patricia and Carl Vanzura and Kathy Burke. He was a loving husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather. Michael was a devout catholic and was a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.
Surviving Mr. Smith are his loving wife and best friend of 56 years, Judy Van Winkle Smith, of Blairsville; two daughters, Jennifer Duckett, of Lula, Ga.; Teresa Smith and fiancée, Teddy Brown, of Asheboro, N.C.; one son and daughter in law, Michael Brian and Kristina Smith Jr., of Lawrenceville, Ga.; his siblings, Betty Senger, of Auburn, Ala.; Daniel Smith and wife Donna, of Robbins, Tenn.; Peg Monfort and husband, Keith, of Eugene, Ore.; sister, Mary Joan Smith, of Camp Hill, Pa.; Steve Smyth, of Blairsville, Ga.; Greg Smith, of DeBary, Fla.; Nita Cadden and husband, Dan, of Maitland, Fla.; Julie Roach and husband, Will, of Maitland, Fla.; seven grandchildren, Jessica Mullen and husband, Stephen, of Gainesville Ga., Justin White and fiancée, Alexa Havens, of Lake Mary, Fla.; Haley Jordan and Corey Doss, of Oakwood Ga.; Michael Cory Smith, of Duluth, Ga.; Calista White, of Boone, N.C.; Morgan Duckett, of Buford, Ga.; Savannah Duckett, of Lula, Ga.; Michael James and two great-grandchildren, Avery Oliver Doss, and Brynlee Alexandra, several nieces, nephews, many other relatives and friends also survive.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4. Special music will be presented by Ron Gaucher and Robert Funderburk. Interment will follow in St. Clare’s Haven Garden. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations may be made to the Butternut Creek Festival in care of High County Artisan's in Mr. Smith’s memory. The family will meet with friends following the services.
Mountain View Funeral Home, of Blairsville,: www.mountainviewfuneralhome.com is in charge of the arrangements.