Jerry Lynn Smith, 76, was a lifelong resident of the Conklin Community of Washington County, Tennessee. Born on February 24, 1947, to Orley Peoples Smith, Jr. and Lorene Phillips Smith, Jerry passed from this world on Sunday, March 12, 2023. Jerry attended Washington College Academy from 1st grade to 12th grade, and graduated with the Class of 1965. While at WCA, Jerry excelled in both mischief and sports, including basketball, baseball, and track and field. Jerry held the Tennessee State record for shot put for over 30 years, and continues to hold the Washington College Academy shot put and discus records. Jerry finished one year at East Tennessee State University. He kept in touch with and loved many people from his school days until the very end.
Jerry married Carolyn Ann Moore on October 28, 1967, and together they farmed the land that Jerry had been raised on in the south part of Washington County, Tennessee. During their marriage, Jerry and Carolyn farmed side by side, growing their herd of dairy cattle to a size of 180 and the farm to a size of 241 acres at its peak. For many years, Jerry and Carolyn milked every day, and planted and harvested corn and hay to feed their livestock. They raised a family of three girls, Donna Smith Wilson, Helen Smith Hennon, and Christin Smith Harrell. There was much work to be done on their very large dairy farm, and everyone pitched in and helped. Jerry taught his girls to farm and do just about anything on the farm that needed doing. Once the dairy cattle were sold, Jerry converted the operation to raise beef cattle, and grow and sell grass hay and alfalfa.
Donna married Scott Wilson, Helen married Ken Hennon, and Christin married Joe Harrell. The girls gave Jerry five grandchildren, Leila Hennon, Fisher Hennon, Caroline Wilson, Jayden Smith, and Ivan Harrell. He loved these grandchildren so much, and enjoyed their growing up. He loved teaching them things about farming, and watching their school activities and sports very much.
Jerry was known as a friend to his community, and in the 1980’s, helped to restart the Conklin Ruritan, and served as President the first year. He served on the Washington Farmers Cooperative Board of Directors, and later served in an officer rotation on the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative Board, culminating in being the President in 1995. It was through this board that he was able to take his family on some nice trips, including a trip to Hawaii in 1995.
Always promoting the dairy industry, Jerry was a member of Dairymen, Inc., and served on the Dairy Farmers of America Board of Directors. He was a member of the United Dairy Industries of America, and served as the Treasurer of the Southeastern United Dairy Industries Association.
Jerry was preceded in death by both his parents and his wife. Pall bearers include Mark Ricker, Chris Renfro, Steve Wilson, Fisher Hennon, Jayden Smith, Ivan Harrell, Rusty Stanton, Perry Phillips, and Robin Wren.
Jerry has been a good friend to many people throughout his life, and everyone who knew him speaks of his kindness, and his big heart. The family would like to thank all his caregivers for the past few years, and in these last days. Special thanks to Amy Maine and Laurie Miller of Amedisys.
A graveside service will be held Wednesday, March 15, 2023, at 3:00 PM at Mt. Wesley Cemetery with Santo Cicirello, officiating. All are welcome to come.
Linda (Martin) Painter
Jerry was one of the nice guys. I was his classmate for four years at Washington College. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing for he will truly be missed by his neighbors and family.
Dwight and Beulah Lane
We are sad to learn of the passing of Jerry. We were neighbors on Conklin Road in the late 1990's....Jerry was a fine person and neighbor. His passing is a loss to the community. Our thoughts and prayers for the family today.
I attended Washington College Academy with Jerry from 1961 until we graduated in 1965. We were active in FFA activities and became close friends there. We continued to have contact over the years until I and my family moved to SC in 1991. Our contact was less frequent after that. Jerry was always very kind to me and I admired his strength during the loss of Carolyn and his long illness. He wanted to visit me in SC but could not because of his illness. I deeply regret that I did not visit him more in TN. I am very sorry for the family's loss.
He was such a pleasant man. He was always so humble and kind. You are going to be deeply missed! I was his nurse for several years.
So sorry to hear of Jerry's passing. We served on the state coop board and have many good memories of those times. Prayers for all the family.
Gloriana ODell and Paula Morrison
We are very sorry to hear of your great loss. We love you girls. Praying for you during this time. ♥️
A Good man, a great friend, and the best person sit on a tailgate and eat a sandwich with you. Until we meet again God bless you
Theresa J Brown
Jerry was such a nice guy, I had the pleasure of taking care of him when he was going to rehab...so sorry for the family prayers for all of you. R.I.P.