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Bonnie R. Smith

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Bonnie R. Smith Obituary
Bonnie R. Smith
Virginia Beach - Bonnie Ray Smith, 75, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, October 9, 2013. A native of South Norfolk, he was the son of the late Grover Glenward Smith and Minnie Harrell Smith Armstrong. A graduate of the first class of Oscar F. Smith High School in Chesapeake, he graduated valedictorian of the 1958 class of Eckels College of Mortuary Service in Philadelphia, PA. Licensed in 1959 as a funeral service provider, he served the families of the Tidewater area for more than 50 years. He co-founded Smith and Williams Funeral Home, Norfolk in 1966 and became the co-owner with his wife of Graham Funeral Home, Chesapeake in 1975.
Mr. Smith served as president of the Tidewater Funeral Directors Association in 1975 and the Independent Funeral Homes of Virginia in 2001. He was a former chairman of the Chesapeake Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, former president of the Chesapeake Rotary Club, former director of the Chesapeake Chamber of Commerce, former member of the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army, and served for many years as a member of the Board of Directors of Union Mission Ministries, Norfolk.
In 1975, he joined the Gideons International where he served as past president of the local Chesapeake Camp and the Gideons of the State of Virginia. Traveling in many counties on behalf of Gideons International, he served 12 years on the International Cabinet and spoke in many churches and pastors' banquets over the years. A great joy to him was leading someone to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ through the use of a Personal Workers Testament. He was a member of Kempsville Baptist Church where he served as the teacher of the Kingdom Seekers Sunday School Class and had served as a member of the Board of Deacons.
Surviving are his wife, Marie Brothers Smith; four children, Kirk G. Smith and his daughter, Kristen Smith; Karen S. Prosser and her husband, Randy and her sons, Phillip Patzer and Andrew Patzer; Kimberly S. Vail and her husband, Scott and their children, Heather Vail, Lindsay Norton and her husband, Brad and Caleb Vail; and Kristina G. Zittle and her husband, Steve and their children, Kati Lekki and her husband, Matt and child, Jonathan, Joshua Zittle, Sarah Zittle, Braden Zittle, Abigail Zittle, Grace Zittle, Emma Zittle, Isabella Zittle, Trevor Zittle, Nataleigh Zittle and Caleb Zittle; and one sister, Linda S. Hall and her husband, M.T. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his twin brother, Ronnie and twin grandsons, Jacob and Joel.
A funeral service will be held at Kempsville Baptist Church at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 13, 2013 with Dr. Kelly Burris officiating. Private burial will be in Forest Lawn Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Graham Funeral Home, Chesapeake on Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. and suggests that memorial contributions be made to Kempsville Baptist Church, Mission HimPossible, 5204 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23462 or Gideons International, P. O. Box 1102, Chesapeake, VA 23327. Please visit his Book of Memories to leave a note to the family at www.grahamfuneralhome.com.

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Published in The Virginian Pilot on Oct. 10, 2013
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