Community leaders remember Smith

by | August 17, 2017 4:40 pm

They simply don’t make men like Hugh Smith anymore.
That was the sentiment offered by Patrick Goodwin on Thursday about his longtime friend. Smith, a Turbeville native, died Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017.
“He was, first and foremost, a gentleman,” said Goodwin. “He was not ashamed of being a child of God or of his relationship with the Lord.”
Goodwin said that Smith was an excellent mentor for young people, particularly those who served in his employment at the Turbeville IGA.
Smith began his career in the grocery business at a young age, starting with bagging groceries in 1979 at the store he would one day own and operate.
A 1984 graduate of Winthrop University holding a degree in business administration, he became the store’s manager after college. He earned 25 perent of the store’s ownership after working there several years and then bought the business with a partner from the owner after the latter’s retirement. He bought the partner out in the early 1990s.
Ann Graham has served as the IGA bookkeeper for 33 years.
“He was the most honest and the most friendly man I ever knew,” she said. “He was the best friend I ever had. I couldn’t tell you everything good that he was.”
Graham said that Smith had an inimitable personality that people were drawn to.
“He knew each person by name and always made eye contact,” said Graham. “He always looked after other people’s interests. He was very honest and lived life to the fullest. I could just go on and on.”
Former Turbeville Mayor Jeannie Turbeville said that there were few events in the community in which Smith wasn’t involved.
“He was a month older than my son; I’ve known Hugh since he was born,” she said. “He was always active in the community. There’s pretty much nothing that he wasn’t involved with.”
One of those activities included coaching youth sports, she said.
“He was always active in sports,” she said. “He was involved as a youth himself and when he was an adult, he coached the youth.”
Goodwin said that Smith was the type of person who “was not afraid to roll up his sleeves and do what needed to be done.”
“He was the type of person that whatever needs to be done, let’s get it done,” said Goodwin. “He was the same way everywhere.”
Goodwin and Smith worked on several committees together, including those for the Puddin’ Swamp Festival, Clarendon County Dancing with the Stars and the Turbeville Business Association.
“If he wasn’t there personally, he was there financially,” said Goodwin. “If you needed sweat equity, he was right there helping along with everyone else.”
Lifelong friend and Clarendon County Dancing with the Stars founder and organizer Cheryl Wingard agreed.
“He was probably one of the most caring and compassionate people I’ve ever known,” she said. “He always put other people first. I feel like when we lost him yesterday, a part of me left with him. We grew up together. It was very devastating for the community>.”
Turbeville agreed.
“He’s always been the biggest sponsor, the biggest everything for any event,” she said. “He just can’t be replaced.”

comments » 3

  1. Comment by BETH GODWIN

    August 17, 2017 at 18:32

    He told me last october..I would love to see all my children graduate..finish college ..get married..But if God chooses to not grant my hopes and dreams..it is ok..I have lived a good life..did things with my kids and wife in hopes of instilling a solid foundation for them to go forth in there lives..His last words was Beth..you know i am ok with dieing..when the end does comes as God has already planned for me..it will all be alright..i left the IGA in tears that day..He said..i didnt mean to make you cry and gave me a hug and i left..you surely will be missed Hugh Smith..

  2. Comment by Ivory McFadden

    August 18, 2017 at 10:39

    This was the kindest businesses man I ever knew. Even though he owned his own business he never made you felt different from anyone else.always greeted you with a smile and knew you by your name. No matter where Hugh saw you at he would speak to you and hold a conversation. It brought tears to my eyes when I heard he had die. He was a good person to all people.

  3. Comment by MaryFrances Coker

    August 19, 2017 at 13:10

    Hugh was a perfect example that every parent hopes their child will be. I have known him all his life and loved him like he was my own. He will be sorely missed by all, especially our church and town.


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