Dr. Jerry L. Smith (1940 - 2016)

Obituary
5 entries
  • "Dr. Smith was an outstanding instructor and role model. I..."
    - Mark Anderson
  • "Dr. Smith played a vital role in my education. I took three..."
    - James Newman
  • "I am sorry for your loss"
  • "He was a good man and a good cousin. Elza Pollard"
  • "I have already said this to Dtephanie but truly, one of the..."
    - Jerry Smith
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Funeral service for Dr. Jerry L. Smith, 75, formerly of Jacksonville, will be on Thursday, March 17, 2016, at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Jacksonville with the Rev. Andy Curtis officiating. Burial will be in the Jacksonville City Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home Wednesday evening from 5-7 p.m. Dr. Smith died on March 14, 2016 at UAB Hospital in Birmingham. Jerry was born on December 22, 1940 to the late Stanley and Clara Smith in Duncan, Oklahoma. He graduated from Vega High School in Vega, Texas in 1958. Jerry briefly attended the University of Texas, then transferred to Amarillo College where he played catcher on the baseball team. Jerry graduated from West Texas State with a B.A. in political science and economics and pursued his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. In 1970, Jerry received his doctorate and moved to Jacksonville, Alabama to assume his first teaching post at Jacksonville State University. He expected to return to Texas after teaching for a few years; however, he fell in love with Jacksonville and a co-ed, the former Lynne Swindall, whom he married in 1973. He and Lynne made Jacksonville their home with their only child, Stephanie. Jerry was a full professor at JSU in the Political Science Department where he was the director of the Masters of Public Administration program and instrumental in the inception of the national accreditation process. He served in leadership roles at JSU, including President of the Faculty Senate and was involved in the JSU Foundation. Jerry was awarded the status of Professor Emeritus by JSU in 2004. Jerry was an avid sports fan and supporter of JSU athletics, enjoying over forty years of season tickets to JSU football and basketball games. In 1984, Jerry put his teaching into practice and ran for Place 5 on the City Council. He won the race and began a career of public service to the City of Jacksonville. He served on the city council until 1998, when he was appointed as mayor after the untimely death of Mayor George Douthit. In 2000, Jerry was elected as Mayor of Jacksonville. Jerry took his service to the city as a councilman and mayor very seriously and was proud to serve the citizens of Jacksonville. He enjoyed working with all the council members with whom he served and numerous city employees. Notable projects to which he contributed were the Jacksonville Community Center, the sale of the hospital to help finance the construction of the new Jacksonville High School, and securing adequate water sources for the city. He was a member of the Joint Powers Authority regarding redevelopment of the land use of Fort McClellan, served on the Calhoun County Mental Health Board and was co-chair of the Calhoun County Democratic Party. In 2004, Jerry retired from JSU and the City to spend more time with his family and to play golf, a sport which he enjoyed beyond measure. He and Lynne were long time members of First United Methodist Church of Jacksonville, where they both served in leadership roles and were members of the Pairs and Spares Sunday School Class. He particularly enjoyed being an usher. Jerry was a member of the Jacksonville Exchange Club for many years. He loved to read newspapers and political magazines and work in the yard. Above all his accomplishments, Jerry was dedicated to his family. He was a loving husband to Lynne for thirty-five years and supported her during the illness that took her life in 2008. Jerry was a hands-on father to Stephanie, who adored him. Jerry became close to his son-in-law, Jason and they enjoyed many rounds of golf together. Of all his titles, he loved the designation of "Papa" to Stephanie and Jason's four sons, Mitchell, Charles, Oliver and James. He attended his grandson's ballgames and events with great joy. Jerry's kind and giving ways will be greatly missed. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, James D. Smith; and his wife, Lynne Swindall Smith. He is survived by his daughter, Stephanie Smith Woodard; son-in-law, Jason Woodard; grandsons, Mitchell, Charles, Oliver and James Woodard; brother and sister-in-law, Lionel L. and Nancy Smith; and sister-in-law, Beth Swindall Dercole. Pallbearers will be Trey Bishop, Michael Dempsey, Jeremy Gilbert, Frank King and Jason Woodard. The family extends a special thanks to Dan Shirling for his devotion to Jerry and the family. Contributions can be made to the Jacksonville First United Methodist Church, 109 Gayle Ave SW, Jacksonville, Alabama 36265 or to the Jacksonville Christian Outreach Center, 206 Francis Street W, Jacksonville, Alabama 36265. Online condolences to the family at www.klbrownfuneralhome.com. K.L. Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Center 322 Nisbet St., N.W., Jacksonville, AL 36265 256-435-7042
Funeral Home
K.L. Brown Funeral Home and Crematory
322 Nisbet Street NW
Jacksonville, AL 36265
(256) 435-7042
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Published in The Anniston Star from Mar. 15 to Mar. 16, 2016
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