Chester “Chet” Smith

Published 2:18 pm Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Chester “Chet” Smith

Chester “Chet” Smith, age 105, of Tallahassee, Florida and Lake Seminole out of Bainbridge, Ga., formerly of Palm Harbor, Florida, passed away to a greater reward.  He was born in Greensboro, NC on December 1, 1909.  His parents were Chester Smith and Kate Maneval Smith from Williamsport, PA.  He attended public school in High Point, NC. And graduated from High Point College (now High Point University).  He was president of the class of 1931 and voted “Best  All-around”.  Chet was active in baseball, track, and soccer, coaching the soccer team his Junior and Senior years.

In 1996, Chet’s brother Carl, established the Chester C. Smith Scholarship Fund at High Point University for students in financial need.  Chet remembers working at the “ Y “in High Point while attending college during the depression.  Sometimes the “Y” was unable to pay him in full for hours worked, until sometime later, so he and family continually increased the scholarship for today’s students, remembering how meager those times were.

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Chet’s YMCA career spanned over 48 years, from college years through serving on several southern, national, and international YMCA boards, committees and associations as chairman, director, board member, and president through and after his working years. “ Y” positions were held in High Point and Kannapolis, NC, Atlanta, GA, and at Danville and Richmond, Vriginia, where he was General Secretary before retiring to Highland Lakes in Palm Harbor in 1974.

He was active in the Presbyterian Churches in the cities where he lived.  Chet has served as Deacon, Elder, Superintendent of Sunday School, President of the Men’s Sunday School Class, President of Danville’s city-wide Church School Superintendents  Association, Chairman of the Christian Education, Worship and Music Committees.  He remained a member of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church of Dunedin, Florida, though he attended services at Tallahassee Bible Church after moving to Tallahassee with daughter Jane and her husband Lou Merritt.

Chet has been a member and a past Director of the Rotary Club.

He was married to Gladys Hill of Kannapolis, NC in 1939.  They were married for 17 years before her death in 1956.  He then married Ruth Sanders of Edison, Georgia, who passed away in 2008.  He is survived by a daughter, Jane S. Merritt (Lou) of Bainbridge and Tallahassee; a son, Craig Smith (Maggie) of Buford, Georgia; stepsons Carl Moor (Louise) of Boca Raton and Larry Moor (Julia) of Atlanta; several grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held on Saturday, December 27 at 3 p.m. at the family’s Lake Seminole lake house south of Bainbridge.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift to the Alzheimer’s Project or Big Bend Hospice of Tallahassee, or Southwest Georgia Hospice of Bainbridge, GA.

Culley’s MeadowWood Funeral Home at 1737 Riggins Road, Tallahassee, is in charge of arrangements.