The Reverend Ralph Wood Smith, Jr., age 93, Johnson City, passed away Saturday,
December 7, 2019, at NHC Healthcare Center of Johnson City. Mr. Smith was born in Bluefield, West Virginia. He was the son of Ralph Wood and Gladys Ruth Erwin Smith.
He was preceded in death by his wife and love of his life, Eleanor Jeanne Burton Smith.
The Reverend Smith graduated from Davidson College and from Virginia Episcopal Seminary. He was a member of Beta Theta Pi. He was ordained to the Episcopal diaconate in 1950 and to the priesthood in 1951. He had additional training from Virginia Episcopal Seminary and the College of Preachers in Washington, D.C. He also had extensive training as an alcohol and drug therapist and marital counselor.
He served parishes at R. E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church in Lexington, VA; St.
Andrews on the Sound, Wrightsville Beach, NC; St. Timothy’s, Kingsport, TN; Church of the Ascension, Lafayette, LA; and St. Anne’s Church, Millington, TN.
He served as chaplain at Virginia Military Institute, Washington and Lee University, Emory and Henry College, King University, and The University of Tennessee Martin.
Reverend Smith was an excellent preacher and is the author of a three-volume collection of his sermons and writings (unpublished), Living With and Within an Alternate Empire.
In retirement, he established a private practice in addiction counseling and marital
counseling and continued to serve the Episcopal Church as an interim and supply priest to congregations in Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.
He leaves many friends who have been blessed by his advice, concern, and affection. Very special friends are Patty Bowers, Alice Sparks and Wayne Baumunk, Fran and Fred Davenport, Mary Alice and Bill Fryar, Colby Hall and Beth and Ken Johnson. He also leaves his beloved cat, Marmalade.
Funeral services will be conducted at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 500 North Roan St., Johnson City, on Friday, December 13 at 11:00 am with The Rt. Reverend Brian Cole, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee, officiating. A reception at St. John’s Church will follow the service. Interment services will be conducted 3:00 pm Friday at Roselawn Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the addiction support group, Rebos, Inc., 213 E Maple St., Johnson City, TN 37601.