R.B. Smith, Sr. was born May 15, 1931, in Bogalusa, Louisiana to Minnie Mae (Nonnie) Smith. He departed this life on July 29, 2021 at his home.
He grew up in a small town in Mississippi and had to start work at an early age. He went to work with Clay & Son Masonry contractors out of Biloxi Ms. for several years. He then left Mississippi to travel the country working with a major union contracting company till 1959. R. B. went on to earn his Masonry license and became a member of Bricklayers, Masons and Plasterers’ International Union of America. He was a noted brick mason in Tennessee and several other states. His signature brick spiral columns, brick mailboxes and stonework are showcased throughout the local area and across Southeast.
He was truly blessed to marry Ina Mae Mohead (wife of 64 years) on July 6, 1957 and that union lasted until the time of his death. Through her endless Love and support along with the Love and support of his children, brother, other family members and friends he experienced the care he needed leading up to his departure.
R.B. Smith Sr. was also the eldest member of the Chattanooga Old School Cruisers. A prominent car club that showcases vintage and exceptional cars of all kinds across the Southeast. Known as the "Old Man", he and his car (Chocolate Drop), a 1968 Camaro Super Sport, would cruise along with them as they paraded from city to city.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Minnie Mae (Nonnie) Smith; brothers, John Henry Smith and Alex Smith; sisters, Rosa Lee Burton and Luvenia Starks; daughter, Kathleen Stewart, and granddaughter, Chelsea Hayes Smith.
He leaves to carry on his legacy and cherish his memories his loving and devoted wife, Ina Mae of Chattanooga; Children: Cynthia Smith of Dallas GA, Gwendolyn Smith of Chattanooga, Paula Smith of Ellenwood, GA, Diane Altman of Bilox,i MS, Rodney (Kim) Smith of Grenada, MS, R.B. Smith Jr. of Chattanooga, and Jay Cotton of Chattanooga; fifteen grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Public viewing will be held from 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 7, in the funeral home chapel.
The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 8, at the Greater Community Church of Chattanooga COGIC.
Interment will be in Forest Hills Cemetery.
Arrangements are by John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Avenue, 423-622-9995.