Marshall "Skip" Smith Jr.
Marshall H. "Skip" Smith Jr., 79, of Jacksonville, N.C., died peacefully just after midnight on Nov. 29, 2013, at Onslow Memorial Hospital. He was surrounded by his family who shared stories of his life and of his love as he passed from this life to the next. Skip was preceded in death by the love of his life, Jacqueline Jones Smith Petrone, and a granddaughter, Elaine Elizabeth Rose LeRiche. He is survived by Jeannie Smith (Lee Ann Doss), Kathleen Elaine Lenn (Robert Lenn) and Marshall Harlan Smith III (Meredith Smith). He was the proud and loving grandpa of nine grandchildren, Amanda LeRiche, Robert LeRiche, Chip Baker, Zack Baker, Lainie LeRiche, Katie LeRiche, Madison Smith, Marshall H. Smith IV and Molly Smith.
Skip was born in Binghamton, N.Y., in 1934. He graduated from Dixon High School and then enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served for four years. Following his enlistment, he attended and graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor's degree in English. His writing career began at the Jacksonville Daily News as a reporter in the early 1960s. He worked briefly as a social worker with the Onslow County Department of Social Services in the late '60s and then returned to The Daily News, where he reported on the events in and around Jacksonville for about 10 years. In the mid '70s, Skip was tapped by a group of local businessmen to lead a fledgling weekly newspaper, The Onslow Herald. After a brief stint at the Herald, Skip joined the staff of United States Congressman, 3rd Congressional District, Charlie Whitley as a legislative assistant. Skip loved the world of politics, his colleagues on the staff and his time working for Mr. Whitley and Martin Lancaster.
Skip's pride in his children was immeasurable. He supported them throughout their schooling and in their careers. He was proud that his children worked in service to others and always encouraged them to be the best they could be in every endeavor. Of all of their accomplishments, their greatest was the gift of his grandchildren. His love for his grandchildren knew no bounds. Anyone who knew Skip knew he loved fishing, not because he was a sportsman, but because of the relationships that flourished on the Jolly Roger Fishing Pier or on a windy, sandy beach just talking about life and catching fish. His grandchildren learned how to catch bait and how to be a friend and a good person with their grandpa on those outings.
The family would like to thank the emergency room staff at Onslow Memorial Hospital. Dr. Thompson and David, along with the nurses and staff on the fourth floor, were kind and respectful of the family and made sure Skip and the family were comfortable during his passing.
A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3 at Onslow Memorial Park with the Rev. Rachel Moser officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that unopened toys be brought to the service or to Johnson Funeral Home to be donated to Christmas Cheer of Onslow County.
Condolences can be left at JDNews.com.
Arrangements by Johnson Funeral Home of Jacksonville.