"Big Gene" Smith

SHELBY - Solon Eugene "Gene" Smith, Jr., 59, passed away on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, at Kings Mountain Hospice House, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Born in Cleveland County, he was the son of Peggy Bridges Smith and the late Solon Eugene Smith, Sr.
Along with his father, he was preceded in death by his sister, Cathy Smith Fielder.
Gene graduated from Burns High School in 1972. He attended North Carolina State University where he obtained his degree in truck driving. Gene was employed by Sewell Contractors. He was a member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.
Gene will always be remembered as a loving husband and father. He was an excellent father figure, not only to his son, but to community children as well. He never missed his son's ballgames from elementary school through college and was a strong support for his family - their "rock." Gene loved to fish, ride his motorcycle and attend dirt track racing.
Gene is survived by his wife of 32 years, Cathy Brittain Smith; a son, Solon Eugene "Tripp" Smith, III and wife Emily Lahrmer Smith of Shelby; mother-in-law, Doris Norman Stockton of Shelby; father-in-law and step-mother-in-law, Ted and Faye Sain Brittain of Shelby; sister-in-law, Melanie Brittain Hamrick of Shelby; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to everyone at Sewell Contractors and the Cleveland County community for their support during Gene's illness.
Visitation: The family will receive friends from 1 to 3 p.m. prior to the service in the Life Enrichment Center of Boiling Springs Baptist Church. At other times the family will be at the home.
Celebration of life service: 3 p.m. Friday at Boiling Springs Baptist Church
Officiated by: The Revs. Greg Martin and John R. Bridges
Burial: Will follow in Cleveland Memorial Park.
Funeral home: Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family.
Memorials: May be sent to Hospice Cleveland County, 951 Wendover Heights Drive, Shelby, NC 28150.
Guest registry: www.cecilmburtonfuneralhome.com

Funeral Home

106 CHERRYVILLE RD. Shelby, NC 28150-4208
(704) 480-8383

Published in Shelby Star on Feb. 26, 2014