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Deacon Samuel B. Smith

September 25, 1922 December 27, 2016
Deacon Samuel B. Smith
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Obituary for Deacon Samuel B. Smith
Deacon Samuel Burkley Smith peacefully received his heavenly wings at his residence on the morning of December 27, 2016. He was the second of five children born to the late Deacon Burkley and Deaconess Fannie Smith of Amelia, Virginia on September 25, 1922. He was also predeceased by his three loving brothers: Willard, Winston, and Nathaniel. When they were younger, they were always close and when you saw one of them, you saw all of them. They were jokingly called "Those Smith Boys". Samuel was educated in the Amelia County School System, by way of a little school house called Morven School until he was old enough to attend high school. In order to help provide for his parents and siblings, Samuel left school before graduation and joined the military. While in the military, he obtained his GED.

At an early age, Samuel confessed his love for the Lord and was baptized at Chester Grove Baptist Church in Amelia, Virginia. He remained a good and faithful member and was ordained as a Deacon in 1992. He was a constant and dedicated servant for the Lord until his peaceful transition. Samuel never considered anyone a stranger...he treated everyone as a friend and always a kind word to share. His love for the Lord and his devotion to his family was never in question and was always unconditional.

Samuel joined the United States Army on April 10, 1943 and was stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey. During his tour, he was also stationed in Boston, Massachusetts, where his assignment was to build roads and bridges until he and his platoon were shipped to Calcutta, India. Samuel's ranks quickly advanced to Corporal Tech and he received an Honorable Discharge on March 18, 1946. Even though he had experienced different cultures and places during his tour, Samuel realized that home is where the heart is, so he returned back to Amelia to begin another eventful chapter in his life.

Once back in Amelia, Samuel worked on the farm with his family. Later in 1946, he rekindled his friendship with the love of his life, Edna Christine Brown of Rice, Virginia and on December 31, 1948, they eloped to New York City. They both kept their marriage a secret for an entire year before announcing their marriage to the family the following November. Samuel and Edna were married for 54 years and remained a tight team until her death on January 15, 2003.

During the years of marital bliss, Samuel, along with Edna worked very hard to achieve their goals together. After buying some property to build a home, Samuel had a dream of opening a grocery store and gas station. So, he and Edna combined their home with both businesses. In addition to this, while Edna taught school, Samuel started working as a pulpwood hauler. After years in this capacity, he was afforded the opportunity to become an independent pulpwood dealer. By 1964, Samuel was the first African-American to own a pulpwood dealership and partner with the Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac Railroad Corporation. Even though he was a strict, but fair businessman and boss, all of his employees affectionately nicknamed him, "Doll Baby?' because of his gentle and kind disposition. Until 1988, Samuel and Edna maintained collectively four different careers and were very successful with all of them until they both retired. From 1988 until 2000, they both went back to their roots....farming.

Samuel's life was full, rich, and exciting. He made sure that his family was well taken care of that they never wanted for anything. His giving spirit extended to his church, friends, and the community. His willingness to help anyone in need and continuing to strive to be the very best person that he could be will always be remembered and treasured.

Samuel leaves to cherish his memories and love: his loving and devoted daughter, Karyn Smith; goddaughter, Karen Anderson-Walker; aunt, Edith Anderson; caring sister, Jourdinia S. Brown (Rodger, Sr); dear sister-in-law, Lois T. Smith; stepdaughter, Bezenia Mills; stepson, Dyrone Simmons; best buddy/cousin, George E. Booker; family friends- Annie Clay, Katherine Tabb and Regina Hamlor; several loving nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends. In addition, Samuel also leaves to cherish his genuine kindness and love for life, his extended family: Robert Anderson, Paige Belfon, Fleming Lee, Hilton Lee, Charles Thompson, Ruby Daily, Judy Williams, his entire homecare nursing staff to include; Gloria Evans, Catrelia Wright, Carolyn Wingo, Eartha Allen, Cora Jones, Christina Smith, Tanya Hawkes, Kevin Fuller, Jacqueline Johnson-Fowlkes and their families.

Funeral Services Saturday, December 31, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at Chester Grove Baptist Church, Amelia with interment in the church cemetery.

Michael W. Hawkes Funeral Home of Amelia in charge of arrangements.
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