Herman Guy Smith, Jr., of Lakeland, FL, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, February 12, 2022. He was 80 years old.
Guy was born May 22, 1941, in Gulf Hammock, FL to Herman Sr. and Irene Smith. He graduated top of his class from Chiefland High School in 1958 at the age of 16. As an active young man, he played football, basketball, baseball and loved fishing with his father throughout the abundant Florida fishing holes near his childhood home. He attended Florida State University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Corrections. After college, he began work as a juvenile counselor in Tampa, FL, where he met and married Linda Creighton Smith in 1963. They moved to Oxford, Mississippi, where he earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Ole Miss Law School. Following graduation, they moved back to Tampa, FL, and then to Lakeland, FL in 1973 with their three loving children Beverly, Brad, and Jennifer. After practicing law for several years, Guy founded his own successful law practice, and began several entrepreneurial ventures including retail stores, multiple land development projects (office and retail), and two daycare centers.
Guy was passionate about his work and one of his favorite sayings was, “Pray for the harvest, but continue to hoe.” The law firm he founded, Smith, Feddeler & Smith, PA, is one of the oldest law firms in Central Florida. He was a Board-Certified Worker’s Compensation Specialist and he proudly served as President of the Florida Workers’ Advocates where he passionately provided a medium for cooperation and continuing education among lawyers representing the interests of injured and disabled workers. Additionally, he served as President of the Downtown Lakeland Kiwanis Club, and was a long-term board member of the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches. He also served as a deacon for many years at Lakeside Baptist Church.
Guy always made his family his highest priority. He loved attending and supporting his children’s activities and was an active board member of the Lakeland High School Booster Club and he enthusiastically volunteered to help his children’s school bands, sports teams, dance and cheerleading squads. Among his most cherished things to do was to spend time with his family and friends at two of his most favorite places, Anna Maria Island and the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. He frequently returned to his childhood home of Chiefland, FL to visit his mother, father, sisters and their families. Guy loved to travel (Europe, China, Thailand, Canada, and Alaska), spend time with his family on fishing excursions, and singing his best John Denver renditions on road trips. He enjoyed Christian gospel songs, classical music, 50’s and 60’s hits, and attending Broadway shows and live theater. Additionally, Guy was an avid Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan and proudly cheered on the Bucs at every home game that he attended and has been a season ticket holder since 1979.
Guy is survived by his wife Beckie Crawford Smith; his children Beverly(Carl) Feddeler, Brad(Nicolette) Smith, Jennifer(Nilo) Lloren; Sisters Alice Johnson and Cheryl Easley; Nieces Allyson(Chris) Mack, and Heather Easley; his twelve grandchildren Chaz, Zach, Madison, Luke, Alex Ann, Holden, Sevianna, Selinda, Kosta, Jake, Anna Kate, and Tyler; his first wife of 47 years and mother of his children, Linda Creighton Smith, and many other family members and friends who admired and respected him.
The family will receive friends from 1 to 2 p.m. Friday, February 18, 2022, followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m. with a reception to follow at Heath Funeral Chapel. LiveStream will be available through Heathfuneralchapel.com. Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.
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