Wyatt Frederick Smith, Jr. passed away peacefully on January 23, 2022, at his home in Lakeland surrounded by family.

He was born to parents Wyatt Frederick and Alva Graydon Smith, on September 13, 1936, in Montgomery, Alabama. Fred graduated from Sidney Lanier High School and attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and became a lifelong devoted Crimson Tide fan. Fred spent much of his professional career as President and CEO of Little and Company, a business that he was passionate about and devoted much of his energy to. He was involved with many local charities and organizations and sponsored an annual golf tournament that raised funds for the Florida Southern College women’s golf team. Fred was also an avid sportsman who loved golf, tennis, hunting, fishing, and the beach.

Fred married Gayle, the love of his life, in 1963, who survives him. Fred is also survived by his daughter, Abby Hail and husband, Brian and daughter, Paige Anderson and Cecilia and Virginia Hail. He was so proud of his five grandchildren and loved them dearly. Fred was predeceased by his parents, Wyatt, and Alva Smith and his sister, Barbara Smith Brown.

Fred loved people and people loved Fred. He had a kind and gentle manner and had friends from all walks of life. He had the ability to make almost anyone laugh and will be dearly missed by his beloved wife, family, and friends.

A memorial service is scheduled for Friday, March 11, 2022, at First United Methodist Church of Lakeland at 11 a.m. Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.

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