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1930 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
SMELLEY, Nathan Nathan Smelley, educator, coach, deacon, and beloved husband and father, passed away on Thursday, November 24, 2016 at the age of 86. He is survived by his wife of 12 years, Vivian Rountree Bevis; son Bobby Smelley and daughter-in-law Debbie Smel-ley; daughter Renee Jones and son-in-law Art Jones; grandchildren Jennifer Hall, Lauren Jayroe and husband Blake Jayroe, Wendy Miller and husband Daniel Miller, Jamie Smelley and Shannon Smelley; great-grandchildren Ethan Banan, Zachary Hall, Ava Hall, and Layla Jayroe; sister, Frances Kemp, Sylvania, GA; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years Gladys Culpepper Smelley. Mr. Smelley was born to Robert Festus Smelley and Ima Lemmond Smelley on September 19, 1930 on the family farm in rural Banks County, GA. Growing up in a home with no electricity or running water, he graduated from the Gillsville School in 1947. He attended Berry College near Rome, GA, where in addition to earning a bachelor's degree in mathematics, he was also a pitcher on the varsity baseball team and president of the 1951 Senior Class. He would later attain a Master's Degree in Mathematics from Auburn University in 1967. After graduating from Berry College, Mr. Smelley entered the United States Air Force, serving from 1951-1955 as a radar technician, primarily at Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan. Honorably discharged from the Air Force, he worked as a book-keeper for Armour Fertilizer Works in Atlanta. He married Gladys Culpepper on September 15, 1956. In 1962, Mr. Smelley moved his young family to Suwanee, GA where he began a long and successful career as a math teacher and coach at North Gwinnett High School. During his 26 years at North Gwinnett, Mr. Smelley taught math, algebra and trigonometry; was chair of the Math department; was an assistant football coach; head women's basketball coach; head baseball coach; athletic director; and STAR teacher. He was also a board member of the Gwinnett Teachers Federal Credit Union. Mr. Smelley was inducted into the North Gwinnett Hall of Fame in December of 2015. Mr. Smelley was also involved in the Suwanee community as a charter member of Shadowbrook Baptist church where he served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, treasurer, and on various committees. He was a member of the committee that selected the location of George Pierce Park and was often a volunteer poll worker on election days. Visitation for Mr. Smelley's friends and family will be at Flanigan Funeral Home in Buford, GA, from 4-7 p.m. on Sunday, November 27 and from 4-8 p.m. on Monday November 28. The funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, November 29 at Shadowbrook Baptist Church. Burial will be at Lula-Bellton Cemetery in Lula, GA, near the family farm where he was born. To express condolences, please sign our online guest book at www.flaniganfuneralhome.com. Arrangements By: Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Buford, GA (770) 932-1133.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Nov. 27, 2016
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