April 6, 2019
9/7/1934 – 4/4/2019 Earl Foster Smith, age 84, died on Thursday, April 4, 2019, at his residence, with his daughter Carol by his side. Services will be held Saturday, April 6, 2019, at 2:00 at Memorial Gunter Peel, College Street Chapel, with his son-n-law, the Reverend Paul Barham, officiating. Burial with U.S. Navy Honors will follow at Egger Cemetery. Visitation will be held one hour prior to services at the funeral home. Memorial Gunter Peel Funeral Home & Crematory, College Street location, has been entrusted with the arrangements. Mr. Smith was born September 7, 1934, in Caledonia, MS, to the late Zack Foster and Ora Pearl Andrews Smith. He had 1 brother, the late Charles Edward Smith and 2 sisters, Barbara Ruth Smith Kimbrough and Mary Madgalene Smith Ray, 3 nephews and 4 nieces. Earl was a 1953 graduate of Greenwood Springs High School. In 1957, he joined the United States Navy and served in Saigon, South Vietnam on the aircraft carrier USS Lexington. After being injured in the Vietnam War, he was sent to the US Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, where he met his bride of 40 years, the late Neva Golden Smith. He fell head over heels in love with her and didn’t care that she had 6 children. They became an instant family. After Earl and Neva married, Earl gained 4 daughters, Jean Fairchild Cunningham (Jim), Joyce Fairchild (Marion), Marie Whitaker (Sonny) and baby girl, Carol Barham (Paul) and 2 sons, the late O’neal Golden (Louise) and the late Forrest Golden (Billie). Together, they had their beloved poodle, the late KC Smith. They also had 16 grandchildren and many great and great-great grandchildren. He received the Navy Unit Commendation & Ribbon Bar, Vietnam Medal Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal and Vietnam Service Medal. Earl and Neva owned and operated Hwy 12 Hardware for many years. He was a member of the First Baptist Church, Columbus, MS. In 1983, he became a Mason Grand Master and did many charitable works throughout the years. An electrician by trade, Earl could do anything he set his mind to. He enjoyed reading, watching westerns, listening to Jerry Clower, tinkering with model planes and watching his cats play. He was a true southern gentleman and man of integrity who was loved by his family and community. Pallbearers will be his grandson, Douglas Barham; great-grandsons, Christopher Barham, Brandon Merchant and Brady Merchant; and long time friends, Allen Jones and Clyde N. (Bud) Egger. Honorary Pallbearers will be Ronnie Smith, Glenn Baldwin, Glenn’s BBQ Staff, Kindred Hospice and long time best friend, Pete Sullivan.