BOONEVILLE – Ben Taylor Smith, 78, died peacefully at home Thursday, April 3, 2014, from complications of congestive heart failure. He was born March 7, 1936, in Booneville and graduated from Booneville High School in 1954, where he was voted Most Handsome. Ben graduated from the University of Mississippi Pharmacy School in 1959, and joined his father, Ben Charles Smith, in the operation of Smith Drug Company, the longest continuously family-owned drugstore in Mississippi. This was the only job Ben ever had.
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Ben has a daughter, Sherron Smith Biggers from Memphis, Tenn. He was married for 42 years to Gloria Franks Smith of Frankstown, and they have two children. His son is David Jenkins of Baldwyn, who is married to Kim Tucker Jenkins. David and Kim provided Ben with three grandchildren he adored: Sara Taylor, Ben Tucker and Emily. His daughter is Lydia Taylor Frazier of Jackson, who is married to Dr. William Frazier. Lydia provided Ben with a granddaughter, Ann Ross Berry, who he equally adored. Ben is survived by his sister, Genie Pounds, and her husband, Billy. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ben Charles and Lucille Smith.
Ben loved his family, the Ole Miss Rebels, and the Tiger Den Coffee Club. While at Ole Miss, he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity and played the trombone in the Ole Miss Rebel Band. These experiences provided an endless source of stories. Ben was a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church of Booneville. He taught Sunday school and collected favorite quotes he heard from the pulpit. Ben also maintained a love of practical jokes and impractical gifts. He owned cannons, swords, telescopes, laser guns, and mini-bikes. He never lost his sense of whimsy even in the last hours of his life. Ben was a kind and gentle man and his family, friends, and customers will miss him.
Funeral services will be 2 p.m. today, April 6, 2014, at First United Methodist Church with Bro. Bobby Hankins and Bro. David Lowery officiating. Burial will be in the Booneville Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. today at the church.
Pallbearers will be Craig Cleveland, Jason White, John David Price, Bob Galloway, Greg Sparks, TJ Moore, and Brian Credille. Honorary pallbearers will be the Tiger Den Coffee Club and The Upper Room Sunday School Class.
Condolences may be left at www.mcmillanfuneralhome.com.
Published in Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal on Apr. 6, 2014