Thomas Maurice Smith
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Died April 1, 2013 at his home in Fulshear, Texas, at the age of 79. He was born April 29, 1933 in Bonhomie, MS and graduated from Petal High School in 1951 where he was a member of the football team. In 1952 he entered the Army and served three years in the Army Security Agency-two of those in Germany. He received a degree in chemistry from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1959 and began working for Nalco Chemical Co as a sales representative, eventually becoming Marketing Manager for Visco Chemical Co, a division of Nalco. Later he purchased Houston Kawasaki Motorcycle dealership and developed and marketed unbreakable levers for motorcycles.
Maurice was preceded in death by his parents, Randolph and Phyllis Smith; his brother William "Bill" Smith; his former wife, Carolyn McRainey; and his son, Tom Smith.
He is survived by brothers Denny Smith, Mobile, AL, Anthony Smith, Moselle, MS, Franklin Smith (Ann), Long Beach, MS, Phillip Smith (Marie), Meridian, MS and sisters Gail Smith (David), Petal, MS and Gloria Blackwell (Billy), Hattiesburg, MS, as well as his adopted family, Roosevelt Parker (Mary), Lakursha and Terrence "Bo" Parker, of Katy, TX.
Maurice is also survived by many nieces and nephews who knew him as a larger-than-life character with a generous heart. This tradition carried over to his great nieces and great nephews as well who loved to call him "Uncle Uncle Maurice". Over the years there were lots of memories made of his generosity to all. There wasn't a stray animal or person that Maurice wouldn't take in and care for. One popular family event was when he and Carolyn, with their dogs Whiskey and Brandy, were traveling home to Petal from Texas in their motor home. Along the way they picked up two young brothers who were hitchhiking and hoboing across country. Maurice brought them to his mother's home where a large gathering of family was celebrating Christmas. There he made the boys feel welcome and had them call their mother. The next day he carried them back to the highway and pointed them in the right direction. This type of generosity carried on for many years in his town of Fulshear and surrounding areas, where stray cats and dogs everywhere knew his vehicle coming meant food and treats for them.
Maurice requested that his ashes be spread over his beloved land in Fulshear, where his son, Tom had previously been laid to rest. A memorial gathering for family and friends will be held Saturday April 20, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. in Petal, MS at the Petal United Methodist Church fellowship hall. The family prefers memorials to your favorite animal charity.
Published in the Hattiesburg American on Apr. 14, 2013