Thomas Watson Smith Jr.
Thomas Watson Smith Jr., 88, passed away peacefully at home in the Savannah, Ga. area on Saturday, Dec. 23, surrounded by his family. Tom was a native of Savannah. He joined the Army and served as a corporal in the Army Security Agency. He attended The University of South Carolina where he met his wife of 65 years Joan Shelamer Smith who preceded him in death in 2015. It was at USC that he developed an interest in radio and television and soon became a pioneer in the television broadcasting industry. God intervened and led him to Christian Broadcasting Network in Portsmouth, Va. where he became the vice president/general manager of WYAH. Both he and Joan were active with CBN ministries. Tom was an avid golfer most of his life and enjoyed many golf trips with friends. As a broadcaster he was able to work and attend The Masters Golf tournament. Two years ago he had to give up golf which gave him more time for his other hobby of painting, producing many quality acrylics and watercolors to be enjoyed by his family and friends. A legacy of love.
Tom was active in the Episcopal Church for 70 years as a vestry member, Cursillo and Ultreya leader, Faith Alive and as a Lay Minister. He and his wife Joan were a strong partnership for God's work. They spent their retirement years in Blairsville, Ga. where they were active members of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Hayesville.
He leaves behind to cherish his memory his four children, Rick Alan Smith, Lori Benassi Parker (Bill), Mark Thomas Smith, Karen Shelamer Simms (Kevin). His nephew J. Stephens “Steve” Smith, Jr. (Margaret) and niece Susan Smith Wood. Grandchildren, Ryan, Aaron, Miranda and Joshua Smith, Justin Benassi and great-grandchildren Aiden and Jaxon Smith.
Visitation was at Gamble Funeral Service, 410 Stephenson Ave, Savannah, Ga. on Saturday, Jan. 6, followed by a Celebration of Life service in the chapel. Interment was private.