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George Wynn Smith Jr.

1934 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
George Wynn Smith Jr. Obituary
George Wynn Smith, Jr.

Walnut Creek, CA

George Wynn Smith, Jr., age 84, a resident of Walnut Creek, California, died surrounded by family on May 5, 2018, following a long struggle with congestive heart failure.

He was born in Dyersburg, TN on February 9, 1934 to George Wynn Smith, Sr. and Myrtle Goodin Smith, who died shortly after delivery. His childhood was spent in Tiptonville, Tennessee, with happy summers in Charleston, Missouri, among many loving relatives. He attended high school at Philips Exeter Academy, followed by college and law school at Harvard University.

He was happily married for 61 years to Carmine Hill Smith, and they had four children, Sara Ann Smith, George Wynn Smith III (deceased), Nancy Smith Douglas and Rebecca Hill Smith.

He practiced law in Memphis, Tennessee for 35 years where he successfully represented, among others, Union Planters Bank during a very turbulent time involving the dissolution of Stax Records and the bond claim cases arising out of various bank officers' criminal activity. He was also a founding member of the Wolf River Society FTPOTOTS in Memphis and, later, The Usual Suspects political email group. In 1997, he moved to California, where he continued to practice law with his daughter and son-in-law. He was one of the pioneers in the field of using computers in law practice, and remained interested in the potential for technology in the future throughout his life.

He leaves a brother, William Lindamood, of Tiptonville; sons-in-law, James O'Donnell and Walter Douglas, seven grandchildren, many friends and a large hole in the lives of those who knew his ability to turn a phrase and recite quotations for any occasion, frequently in Latin.

His memory, his wit and his enthusiasm were unparalleled. The word used most often by his friends in remembering him is that he was a "hero" to them. As one of the history teachers from Exeter remembers him, he was "a man of extraordinary intelligence, wide-ranging curiosity, and insight, with a love of language and an unmatched ability to tell a great story. Every tale he told, be it factual or fictional, always had an important message or lesson most often drawn from his storehouse of the history and culture of the South." Though his brain is often the feature people associated with him, those who knew him best recall that great heart. When thinking of him, the quote that springs to mind is not from an epic poem, but from Frank Baum, who said, "A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others."

A celebration of his life is planned in Memphis, TN at the Calvary Episcopal Church on August 18, at 10 a.m.

Graveside Services will be conducted on Monday, August 20, at the IOOF Cemetery in Charleston, MO under the direction of McMikle Funeral Home.

Online condolences may be shared at
Published in The Commercial Appeal on Aug. 12, 2018
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