STATESBORO, Ga. - Tommy Dee ""Doc"" Smith joined his Savior on Friday, October 4, 2013, in Statesboro, Georgia. He was born on March 16, 1931, in Lawrenceville, Illinois, to Ruby and Dick Smith. His family moved to Huntingburg, Indiana, in 1935 and operated a retail furniture business for 40 years.
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Tom is survived by his wife of 57 years, Sue Lynch Smith, Statesboro; daughters, Julia Smith Dempsey (Cal), Barnwell, South Carolina, and Cynthia Smith Waters (Adam), Statesboro; and six grandchildren, Ryan and Ross Waters and Tommy (Sally), Neal, Abby and Rachel Watkins.
Tom always felt fortunate to have grown up in Huntingburg, Indiana, because of its excellent school system and music program. He enjoyed playing the cornet for 27 years. Tom loved basketball, was All-State and played in the first North-South All-Star game held in Murray, Kentucky. He was awarded basketball scholarships to Indiana University and Indiana State Teachers College. He served in the United States Army, stationed at Camp Rucker, Alabama, and Fort Benning, Georgia.
Tom spent 15 years teaching and coaching in Indiana in the cities of Wheatland, Attica, Spencer and Boonville. During this time, he earned a master's degree in guidance and counseling. Tom also received a master's degree in sports medicine and athletic training from Indiana University.
Tom ""Doc"" Smith moved his family to Statesboro, Georgia, in 1971, where he accepted a position with Georgia Southern College, officially becoming known as ""Doc"". He was an assistant professor of health and held the title of head athletic trainer for 23 years. During his career, Doc was honored to work with many sports legends: Georgia Southern University head coach, Erk Russell; Georgia Southern University head baseball coaches, Ron Polk and Jack Stallings; Indiana University head athletic trainer, Dwayne ""Spike"" Dixon; head swim coach of Olympic swim teams at Indiana University, Doc Councilman; Olympic swimmers, Mark Spitz and Gary Hall; and the 1973 Russian Olympic women's gymnastics team, which included Olga Corbit. Doc was the athletic trainer for Georgia Southern College when the baseball team played in the NCAA 1973 World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, and in the Intercontinental Cup Baseball Tournament held in Cuba in 1979. Doc proudly wore four national NCAA championship rings earned by the Georgia Southern University football team for 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1990.
Doc believed all of his student trainers to be legendary as well as all Georgia Southern University athletes. He was a great supporter of all Georgia Southern University athletics and is now truly soaring with Eagles.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, October 9, at Pittman Park United Methodist Church in Statesboro with the Rev. Brad Brady and the Rev. Bill Bagwell officiating.
Visitation will be held in the church fellowship hall from noon until the celebration hour.
Burial will be in Eastside Cemetery in Statesboro.
Grandsons will serve as pallbearers.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation or the Tom ""Doc"" Smith Scholarship, P.O. Box 8115-01 Statesboro, Ga. 30460.
Hodges-Moore Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Please visit our online memorial at www.hodgesmoore.com to sign the guest book and share fond memories with the Smith family.
Statesboro Herald, October 8, 2013
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Published in Statesboro Herald from Oct. 7 to Oct. 16, 2013
Arrangements under the direction of:
Hodges-Moore Funeral Home
22757 Hwy 80 East | Statesboro, GA 30461 | (912) 764-5683