Donald Ray Smith

Published 12:05 am Monday, February 9, 2015

NATCHEZ — Funeral services for Donald Ray Smith, 79, of Natchez, who died Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, at his residence, will be at 11 a.m. today at Damascus Baptist Church in McCall Creek with the Rev. Leland Smith officiating.

Burial will follow at the church cemetery under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

Visitation was from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Laird Funeral Home and will be at 10 a.m. today until service time at the church.

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Smith was born on May 8, 1935, the son of John and Ella Smith.

He grew up in the McCall Creek area on property homesteaded by his great-grandfather. He was a 1953 graduate of McCall Creek High School, where he said he received his Ph.D. (plowing, hoeing and digging). He moved to Natchez on his 18th birthday when he started to work for Hydratane Gas Company where he later became manager. He later started Natchez Butane where he was owner and manager for more than 20 years. After his retirement, he enjoyed many years of traveling and camping in his RV with his wife, Rickey, and pets, Poochie and Chi-Chi.

He was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; brothers, Leon Smith, Johnny Earl Smith, George Smith and Bill Smith; sisters, Wessie Travis, Velma Allen, Ella Mae Dunigan; and six sibling who died in childhood.

Survivors include his three sons, Jimmy R. Smith and wife, Dolly, of Natchez, Wayne Smith and wife, Debra, of Natchez and Leslie Smith of Jackson; six grandchildren, Chris Smith and wife, Sherry, Nick Smith and wife, Rene, Brittany Smith, Jennifer Lessley and husband, Joel, Jessica Massey and husband, Brian, and Brian Smith; seven great-grandchildren; one brother, Roy Smith and wife, Lucille, of Natchez; and a special friend and caregiver, Jimmie Gayle McPherson.

Pallbearers will be Nick Smith, Chris Smith, Brian Smith, Joel Lessley, Brian Massey and John Smith.

Memorials may be made to Cemetery Fund of Damascus Baptist Church, 3385 Choctaw Road. NE, Brookhaven, MS.

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