American Patriotic 10


Bertram Lavell Smith

July 5, 1967 ~ April 9, 2018 (age 50)

Bertram Lavell Smith was born on July 5, 1967 to Henry L. Smith, Sr. and the late Emma B. Cherry in West Point, Mississippi. He was educated in the Clay County Public School system graduating in 1985 from West Point High School. He excelled in all aspects of schooling and his preference was reading.

In 1985, Smitty fathered a daughter. Parenthood was the catalyst for his decision to enlist in the US Navy.  During his more than 10 years of service, Smitty received numerous accommodations to include:  Navy Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon & Navy Good Conduct Award.

After an honorable discharge, Smitty worked on, in and around automobiles.  He was notably gifted in maintenance, upkeep and repair of motor vehicles.  Smitty’s outgoing personality and genuine concern for others allowed him to make friends everywhere he went.  His mastery in the automotive industry and professionalism propelled him into high ranking businesses such as Pep Boys, Hall Auto and Firestone. Continuing in that upward course, for the last 10 years, Smitty was employed with AutoParts, Int., where he filled the lives of his colleagues with laughter, integrity and good food.

In his leisure time, Smitty enjoyed cooking (national and international cuisine).  He was a bona fide chef and was in the process of writing his own cookbooks.  Also, he was an avid fisherman and keen hunter.

Smitty stated that he’d found a treasure when he met Jennifer.  Their adoration for each other was undeniable and their long-standing love was secured when they married in May 2016.  The Smith family now consisted of two daughters, two sons, and seven grandchildren.  Family was important to Smitty.  Often, he would prepare a smorgasbord and invite the family and friends over for Sunday dinner.  He engaged in various activities with the children.  They enjoyed reading and coloring however, Smitty engaged in whatever brought joy to the little ones.

Smitty would rise early to prepare for the day.  He ensured that his helpmeet wanted for nothing.  He was kind-hearted and spoke words of encouragement.  When others were in need, Smitty would ask “What can I do to help?”  He served the community by volunteering his time, money and love for cooking to make sure others met their obligations.

Smitty excelled despite the afflictions that plagued his body.  Through the pain, he would say, “I can’t complain…God is good!”  Smitty was a worshipper and he had no shame when it came to giving God praise.  He was not concerned with what others thought or who saw him with his arms raised toward Heaven…tears streaming down his face…and his mouth open wide saying, “Thank You Lord!”

Continuing in love is his devoted wife, Jennifer Smith; four children, Octavia Bishop of Columbus, MS, Anthony Brown (Shanique) of Suffolk, Kenzic Brown of Virginia Beach and Ava Brown of Suffolk; three siblings, Henry L. Cherry, Jr. (Debbie) of Springfield, MD, Niyokia Smith of Virginia Beach and Jeneria Smith (Andrea) of Pooler, GA; a supportive mother-in-law, Lula King; seven grandchildren, Jerry, Amari, Alana, Asia, Anthony, Alexandra and Ahmere; special friends, Alfred “Spoon” Hucklebee, Tommy “Scrappy” Eckwood (Serena) and Vicki Hauer (Fred); and a host of other relatives and friends.

Along with his mother, Smitty was predeceased by his brother, Kevin L. Griffin and his adopted grandmother, Mattie B. “Granny” Phelps.

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