Jack Clifford Smith

July 27, 1924 ~ October 4, 2019 (age 95)


Jack C. Smith passed away on Friday, October 4, 2019 after 95 years with us.  Born July 28, 1924, Jack lived most of his life in the house he built in Kernersville, NC, across the street from his parents and on the same street as his brothers Richard, Tom and Ed and near his sister Zora.  This was the second house he built, the first being a stone house made with rocks gathered from a quarry in the mountains with his friends “the boys, “ whom he paid in banana sandwiches.  He said they ate a lot.         

One of the “greatest  generation,”  he with four of his brothers fought in World War II and blessedly all returned home.  He served in the Navy in the South Pacific, searching for Japanese destroyers and subs in a Martin Mariner patrol bomber seaplane, first used by the Navy in 1939. He was a patriot, a brother, a father, an inventor, an athlete, and a sportsman.  He could throw a football 60 yards.  His high school athletic trophy, a maroon column topped with a gold football, the colors of the Kernersville Red Raiders, was always on the mantel.   He loved swimming, fishing, and cooking out with family and friends at the lake he and his brothers built on their grandfather’s farm.  He believed in hard work and education.   He was proud that his four children graduated college.  He was foreman of a metal manufacturing company in Kernersville.  His practicality, ingenuity, and desire to work for himself inspired him to invent a machine that removes the coil set from coiled metal and cuts it to length, which he patented in the US and the UK, and installed across the US and in Mexico and Canada.  He instilled a strong work ethic in his children, retiring at 80. But mostly his work funded his passion, golf.  He could shoot his age at 70 and perfected his game by hitting 100 balls across the backyard on days when he was not on the links or installing machines. 

Jack was preceded in death by his parents Ora Lee and Maggie Smith, his five brothers Ora Lee, Jr., Richard, Tom, Edward (all of Kernersville), and Donald (Morganton, NC) and his sisters Zora and Mary Alice (Kernersville); his daughter Kathy Smith Mackie and his son Jack Jr.  He is survived by his daughters, Bobbie Smith Roberts (Ronnie) of Kernersville and Diane Smith of Winston-Salem, NC; three  granddaughters, Ashley Roberts Rosenbluth (New York), Kristy Roberts (Kernersville), and Anna Mackie Calhoun (Winston-Salem); five great grandchildren; and beloved nieces and nephews. 

A memorial celebration of his life will be planned for a later date

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