Cover photo for Ted Smith's Obituary
Ted Smith Profile Photo
1928 Ted 2022

Ted Smith

June 28, 1928 — July 4, 2022

Ted Smith, of Tiger, Georgia, passed away on July 4, 2022 at the age of 94. Ted was born June 28, 1928 in Weaverville, NC to Jesse Theodore Smith and Novelle Blankenship Smith and raised in and around the Asheville, NC area.
In 1946 he left home for Berea College in Berea, KY, where he met his future wife Mae Watts. They married in June of 1951, and soon after, Ted enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. After an honorable discharge, he began teaching school in Clarkston, GA in 1953, and in October of 1954 had his first of two sons. Ted became a DeKalb County elementary school principal soon after and remained in that position serving at several schools: Terry Mill, Kelly Lake, Columbia, Dunaire and Murphey Candler until his retirement in 1985.
In 1999, Ted and Mae left their home in South DeKalb County and built a home in Tiger, GA, where most of Mae’s family still lived. They remained there until 2012.
Ted’s beloved wife Mae passed away in 2016, and he moved into an independent living facility, where he remained for five years.

Ted always enjoyed cars, and over the years he bought and sold quite a few antiques and classics. Notable were several 1956 Cadillacs (his all-time favorite car), ‘30, ‘36, ‘40 and ‘55 Fords, a ’69 Chevrolet Caprice Classic convertible and a ’65 Mustang High Performance. Three of the old Fords are still in the family, though most he only kept for a while to enjoy, always buying and trading with his principal buddies. At one point, he traded a car for two ’56 Cadillacs and a huge box of golf balls. His family never stopped laughing about that one! Ted was never materialistic or greedy with his possessions. On several occasions, when he saw someone in need of transportation, he simply gave them one of his cars, though a few took advantage of his generosity. Once, he gave a car to a neighbor whose car had been repossessed. The next week we saw that very same car at the school Halloween carnival as a “basher,” where people bought tickets to take a swing at it with a sledge hammer.

Ted earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Religion, with a minor in Physical Education from Berea College, a Master’s degree in Education from Emory University and also a PhD degree. After retirement, he enjoyed reading and writing, and he often put together collections of his writings and musings and gave them out to family and friends.

He always stayed in good shape physically. He was a runner from early on, competing in track and field events in high school and college, and later he began running the Peachtree Road Race each year. In fact, the last time he ran the race was with his son and grandson in 2016, when he was 88. Out of 50,000 runners, fewer than ten his age completed the race.

Ted’s father was Jesse Theodore, and he was named after him, though his birth certificate shows only “Ted Smith.” He often humorously referred to himself as “Ted N.M.I. Smith” (no middle initial). Ted is preceded in death by his brother David Leon Smith (d. 1987), brother Robert Wiley Smith (d. 2003), son Ted Daniel Smith (d. 2010) and wife Bertha Mae Watts Smith (d. 2016). He is survived by his brother David’s wife Joan Davis, son Jonathan Richard Smith and wife Kim of Toccoa, GA and daughter Dianne Smith Rice and husband Tim of Acworth, GA.

Seven grandchildren, Angela Dianne Dye (James), Jonathan Michael Smith (Kelly), Alyssa Veith Palermo (Neil), Matthew Timothy Rice (Heather), Melissa Erleen Harlan (Brent), Kathryn Anne White (Jason) and Christin Patsy Rice.

Eleven great-grandchildren, Kamdyn Mae Ford, Dylan Michael White, Jackson Neil Palermo, Elliana Grace Dye, Kyla Rose Palermo, Austin Joseph White, Adelaide Olivia Harlan, Ansley Novelle Rice, Madelyn Faith Dye and Lucas Flint and Eric Brix Harlan.

Funeral Services will be Sunday, July 10, 2022 at Rocky Grove Baptist Church, 6900 Bridge Creek Rd, Tiger, GA 30576, with visitation 1-2:00 at the church. Officiating are Rev. Kyle Watts, Pastor of Rocky Grove, and Dr. Alan D. Smith, Pastor of The Church at Decatur Heights in Decatur, GA.

The family is at their respective residences.

An on-line obituary and register is availble at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ted Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, July 10, 2022

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Sunday, July 10, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Photo Gallery

Visits: 15

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree