American Veteran 01

Jesse Smith

October 7, 1941 ~ May 18, 2021 (age 79)

Obituary Image


A CELEBRATION OF A VICTORIOUS LIFE FOR MR. JESSIE LOUIS SMITH A CELEBRATORY SUMMATION OF JESSIE LOUIS SMITH’S LIFE JOURNEY FAMILY AND MARRIAGE: Mr. Jessie Louis Smith was a very loving and special person who was very friendly and never met any strangers. He was always willing to discuss the latest topics in the news and what was going on in the city. He was the son of the late Oliver and Clara Smith. He was born in Prattville, Alabama. Jessie was reared in Ocklawaha, Florida which is located in Marion County. In his adulthood, he met the love of his life, Lillian Thornton Smith. After meeting Lillian, he and Lillian became a married couple and was in this union for fifty-five years until his death. Jessie adored and loved his wife, Lillian. Jessie’s and Lillian’s marital life produced a loving son whom they named Jeffery Robert Smith. His daughter is Jasmine Gabrielle Reane Smith. Jasmine is Jessie’s granddaughter whom he loved and adored with all of his heart. There was nothing that Jasmine asked for that she did not get from her grandfather. Now Jasmine has an eighteen month old son by the name of Omari Hart and this was the latest “BOSS” in Jessie’s life because of the steadfast love and joy he had for his first great-grandson. Jeffery is married to Stacie Gause-Smith. Stacie is the daughter-in-law that Jessie became to love, admire and respect as the wife of his son Jeffery. According to Lillian, Smith (as she always called him) often stated that Stacie is a “Good Girl”. In his immediate biological family, Jessie has a loving brother by the name of Ollie Smith and wife Castella Smith of Marion County, Florida. Della Smith, his beloved sister who is now deceased, was also a resident of Marion County, Florida. Oram Smith, his beloved brother who is also deceased, was also a resident of Marion County, Florida. Jessie also has a God-daughter by the name of Freda Lillian Williams Barnes whom he also loved and admired. She is a resident of Tallahassee, Florida. He also had great admiration and love for his God-son, Michael Simmons of Leesburg, Florida, who was always one call away. EDUCATION: His days in public school were spent in the School System of Marion County, Florida, in the town of Belleview, Florida. After spending twenty plus years in the United States Army, Jessie attended college for two years in Orlando, Florida under the GI Bill requirements. CAREER: Jessie was a man who wore many hats. He spent twenty plus years of his life serving his country in the United States Army and the National Guard from 1961 to 1989. From these services for his country, he retired with an honorable discharge. After returning home from his tour of duty with the Armed Services, Jessie started many types of careers. However, Jessie was always willing to start a conversation with a captured audience and with friends to talk about his times in the Army. Vietnam was also one of his major assignments while he served his country. His career path led him to become a commercial truck driver with Certified Grocers of Ocala, Florida. He was also a Chief Operator in the warehouse of the first correctional institution in Lake County, Florida. During his tenure with the correctional institution, he was promoted to the position of Correctional Officer. Jessie always had a love for cooking. In fact, he mastered the skill of preparing, grilling and smoking barbecued meats. His barbeque meats were so tasty and finger-licking that an original name of “Barbeque Man” was created for him. The specialty meats that made him the talk of the town were smoked turkeys and smoked hams. Christmas was a holiday when people from all walks of life would come to purchase a smoked turkey or ham. The ribs that he smoked and grilled were a star in his “barbeque crown”. RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION, COMMUNITY SERVICE AND INVOLVEMENT: During his days as a citizen of Leesburg, Florida, Jessie spent a life of service to his community. He was a man who loved his community and loved to serve his community. Among his many community affiliations, he was involved and was a member of the following organizations: Community Development Corporation of Leesburg and Vicinity (CDC), Life Stream of Lake, Sumter and Marion Counties Board of Directors; The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee of Lake and Sumter Counties; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Sophisticated Gents of Lake, Sumter and Marion Counties. Jessie had a strong belief in God. He was a member and attended church services at Frontier Church until his death. Jessie was a person who studied the words of the bible because of wanting to know more about God’s word and his teachings. During his illness, he was unable to attend the services as he wished and desired. FAMILY ENDEARING RELATIONS: Jessie’s life has been full of persons and individuals who have become a part of an extended family to him and Lillian. This extended family included the following families, professionals and individuals: The Carters, Dr. Lowell Clark; L C and Bettye Coney; The Greens; Caron and Carolyn Samuel; Ministers Louis and Georgette Ward; The Huxs; The Pryors; Michael Simmons; The Members of the Class of 1960, Belleview Santos; The Members of the Class of 1962, Carver Heights High School, Leesburg, Florida; Charles and Ollistine Pinkard; Lorenzo Williams; Deacon James and Georgia Haugabrook; The Members of St. John Missionary Baptist Church; Ms. Mary Lee DeBose. SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING HEALTH PROFESSIONALS: Dr. Adewale Fawole, The Concierge Home Care Staff; Nurse Gina Marie Gaetano, RN and Dr. Lowell Clark. SURVIVORS: Leaving to cherish Jessie’s life and memory: A Loving and Devoted Wife, Lillian T. Smith; Son, Jeffery Robert Smith (Stacie); Granddaughter, Jasmine Gabrielle Reane Smith; Great Grandson, Omari Hart; Brother, Ollie Smith (Castella), Brother-in-Law, Robert McCall; Brother-in-Law, Jasper Hart (Bettye); Uncle, James Houser (Kathy); Aunts; Many Nieces and Nephews; Cousins; Lifelong Friends.

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Funeral Service
May 29, 2021

11:00 AM
Morrison United Methodist Church
1015 West Main Street
Leesburg, Florida 34748

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