Eugene Smith Jr.
1933 - 2018
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Eugene Smith, Jr.

Arcadia - Jesse Eugene Smith, Jr. was born on May 27, 1933, in the Driskill Mountain community into a family of modest means. His parents were Jesse Eugene Smith, Sr. and Maxine Crawford Smith. He had one sibling, Ray Dean Smith. The boys grew up playing barefoot in the red clay dirt of the rolling hill country of north Louisiana during a time when faith, family, and friends fostered a spirit of closeness. In 1946, the family moved to Arcadia.

In 1953, Eugene graduated from Arcadia High School, and on July 10 of that same year, he married Billie Nichols. Later that same year, he was drafted into the United States Army. Their first child, Milton Eugene Smith, was born in 1954 while the couple was stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey. They returned to Arcadia in 1955where he opened his first business, Smith Grocery Store, and attended Louisiana Tech University. Their second child, Sheri Ann Smith Taylor, was born in 1959 in Arcadia. They have four grandchildren: Jesse Smith, and Zac, Hunter, and Jessa Taylor, and they also have one great-grandchild, Rory Smith.

Later, Eugene was an accountant for H.R. Hayes Lumber Company in Arcadia. He worked several years for Firestone in both Arcadia and Minden, and later returned to work for H.R. Hayes at the Monroe location.

In 1963, he became the local Driver's License Examiner and quickly advanced to Regional Inspector and later to Administrator of Field Services where he retired as Assistant Administrator, Office of Motor Vehicles, in 1990. Two years later, he was appointed as the Executive Director of the Louisiana motor Vehicle Commission by then Governor Edwin W. Edwards.

Shortly afterwards, he embarked on his political career as Justice of the Peace, Bienville Parish. The in 2003, he was elected as Mayor of Arcadia and was serving his fourth consecutive term.

Mayor Smith was a Board member of the following:

Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA) Executive Board

Vice President, LMA District B

Business and Industry Development Company

Scripture Memory Fellowship, International

North Louisiana Economic Partnership

Louisiana Entrepreneur and Small Business Commission (appointed by Gov. Jindal)

Chairman of Coordinating Development Corporation (CDC)

United Theological Seminary and Bible College

Mayor Smith has been actively involved in community service and has held the following positions:

President, Arcadia Jaycees

Commander, Ham Michael American Legion Post

Worshipful Master, Arcadia Masonic Lodge (fifty year member)

He has also been actively involved for many years in the Arcadia Lions Club, Bienville Parish Chamber of Commerce, and First Baptist Church of Arcadia. As mayor, he has worked tirelessly to develop Arcadia economically. His involvement with the boards listed above has placed him in close contact with people positioned to assist with the development of new businesses and industries.

During his first mayoral campaign, Mayor Smith challenged the citizens to "Watch Arcadia Grow." Four years later, he invited new businesses and residents to "Come Grow with Us." He has worked hard to foster an atmosphere that is conducive to both large and small industry as well as to retail businesses - those that are currently located in Arcadia and those that anticipate joining the community. He took great pride in our town and parish.

Mayor Smith, a man of great vision, with a dream to make a difference for the people and Town of Arcadia. He considered his greatest achievement securing the funding for and overseeing the building of the Arcadia Events Center. His current passion was supervising the refurbishing of the Arcadia Outlet Mall which was recently purchased by the Town of Arcadia.

The wake for Mayor Smith will be held at Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Arcadia on Saturday, April 28, 5:00 until 9:00 P.M. Funeral services will be conducted on Sunday, April 29 at 2:00 P.M. at the Arcadia Events Center.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to, Scripture Memory Fellowship, International, 1930 Pendleton Dr., Garland, TX 75041 or First Baptist Church of Arcadia, 2249 Hazel St, Arcadia, LA 71001.






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Published in Shreveport Times on Apr. 28, 2018.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
APR
28
Wake
05:00 - 09:00 PM
APR
29
Funeral service
02:00 PM
Arcadia Events Center
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8 entries
April 29, 2018
Mayor Smith contributed greatly to Arcadia and to the state of Louisiana . He loved Arcadia and fought to foster economic development there. His shoes will be difficult to fill in terms of fulfilling the vision he had to continue making Arcadia a great place to live and do business. Herb and I feel blessed to have known both Eugene and Billie. We are praying for the family during this difficult time.

Herbert and Janice Simmons
Janice Simmons
April 28, 2018
It was an honor and a pleasure to have spent several years working with Mayor Smith as Economical Development Director. He was a true friend to me, and I will miss him greatly. My heart is with you, Billie.
Omar Valentine
April 28, 2018
Eugene was mot definitely Arcadia's favorite son, constantly promoting the community and its populace.It is an honor to have known him and his family. Our condolences go out to the entire family, and we share your sorrow. May the memories of the good times offer peace and consolation at this time of grief.
Know that you can find us "just down the road" if ever there is something we can do for you. We pray for peace for the Smith family.
Sam and Jo Ann Dauzat
April 28, 2018
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Mona Kile
April 28, 2018
He was a gentleman and was always pleasant to be around. He was a great ambassador for Arcadia and the Louisiana Municipal Association. I will always remember going to Arcadia for the many district meetings and visiting with him there. He always took time to make me feel welcome. Our prayers are with Billie and the family
Don & Sandy Nijoka
April 28, 2018
Don & Sandy Nijoka
April 28, 2018
Eugene was one of a kind he made everybody feel special he will be truly missed I'll miss seeing him at city hall
Charlotte Whitman
April 28, 2018
The Final Salute

Brothers in Arms, Military men and women down through the centuries, have traditionally exchanged Hand Salutes as a sign of recognition and as a way to render courtesy and respect one to another.

This Hand Salute is the last that we shall render to Jessie Eugene Smith, Jr. our Brother-in-Arms. To his family it symbolizes the love and respect that we have for Eugene. To Eugene it is rendered as a symbol of honor and gratitude to thank him for the devoted and selfless service he rendered to his country during the Korean War while serving in the U.S. Army. Eugene, we commend you for your honorable service. You are a true patriot, who served with honor and distinction. You upheld the finest qualities of an American patriot warrior: courage, commitment, generosity, sacrifice, love and devotion to family and country. You were a true friend. We bid you a sad farewell. You will be dearly missed from among our ranks. Be at Ease. Rest in Peace.

On behalf of the 961 military veteran Legionnaires of Lowe-McFarlane Post 14 of the American Legion and the 233 veterans of VFW Post 2238 in Shreveport, Louisiana, we extend our sympathies and our condolences to Eugene's family and loved ones.

Dennis Engdahl, Commander, American Legion Post 14
5315 South Lakeshore Drive, Shreveport, LA 71109

Charles Livingston, Commander, VFW Post 2238
1245 Gary Street, Shreveport, LA 71101
For the Commanders, Carroll R. Michaud
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