J. Emery Smith




Fuquay-Varina - J. Emery Smith, age 88, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend passed away March 5, 2018 after a short illness. He was the 13th of 14 children born to the late John Emery and Carra Brown Smith of Harnett County. Emery was married to the late Betty Ragland Smith for 61 years prior to her passing in 2016.

He is also predeceased by his siblings Gertrude, Dixie, Ratley, Maggie Lee, Mildred, Lucille, John, Cozart, Witte, Lilburn, Leon and Billie.

Emery attended Lafayette High School and was a veteran of the Korean War. He lived a life of service dedicated to his family, community, and church. Together with Betty, they successfully owned several local businesses including Smith & Godfrey Plumbing Company, Fuquay-Varina Car Wash, and J. Emery Smith Appraisal Service. Emery served his community in a number of roles with his leadership in the Fuquay-Varina Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce- serving terms as President of both- and was named the Town's Outstanding Citizen in 1984. He was also honored to serve his community as a Commissioner on the Fuquay-Varina Town Board for a number of years and as a member of the Board of Directors of BB&T. Emery was a faithful, lifelong member of Macedonia Baptist Church in Holly Springs.

Emery is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Donna S. and Charlie E. Gray of Fuquay-Varina, beloved grandson, Joseph Emery Gray of Wilmington, step-grandson Charlie E. Gray III of Clayton, and sister, Colene Wilkins of Durham. In addition, he leaves behind a host of loving and cherished extended family members and his many friends in the ROMEO Breakfast Club.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at Thomas Funeral Home Chapel, Fuquay-Varina. The family will receive friends two hour prior to the service. Interment will follow the service at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens. Those wishing to remember Emery and his family with an expression of sympathy may consider memorial contributions to Banded Brothers, PO BOX 1145, Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526.

Online condolences may be left at www.thomasfuneral.com