Obituary - Charles W. Smith
This is the story of Charles Wesley Smith, Sr, which begins in the year 1912. No, Charles was not yet in this world, but without the union of his parents, Quincy Adams Smith and Mamie Irene Croom Smith, this story would never exist. They married at the home where Charles was born and raised, along with his fifteen siblings. When there are sixteen children to care for, everyone was responsible for the other. This responsibility created the foundation of his steadfast love for his entire family.
As we all know, however, love alone is not the only act needed to sustain life, especially in a rural environment during the first half of the 1900s. Survival took sacrifice and a lot of pure grit. Charles was removed from grade school in the eighth grade to help provide for his family by working the land where they lived. From dawn to dusk he worked. There was no sleeping in nor sick days. A mule was the tractor and the boys were the drivers. The family depended upon each member to do their part, and they all did. After learning the true meaning of dedication at home, he continued to put this belief into action when his country needed him the most.
He committed himself to protect the beliefs of his nation with joining the US Navy. For three years, three months, and 23 days, Charles lived on the USS Alabama at sea. His battleship prevailed in battles in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He survived the rough seas, harsh storms, and attacks of our then enemies from both the air and the sea. While serving his country, a young lady by the name Nina Frances Riggs was always in his heart. Prior to going to war, he met Nina through his sister, Louise. Nina waited for Charles to return from his service while she also served her country with working at the Red Cross in Washington, DC.
When Charles was released of his duties after the war, he took a train straight to Nina and married her. Together they returned to his home, and he then introduced his wife to his family. Together, Charles and Nina were able to create greatness in many forms. He and Nina began a life for themselves through practicing the lessons both learned as children. In 1947 they were blessed with the birth of their son, Charlie. Charlie was able to witness and experience the unwavering dedication, sacrifice, and endurance of both his father and mother while they worked day and night to help establish a trucking business with Charles’ mentor and friend, Felix Harvey.
In 1949 Tidewater Transit was established. And as a result of their integrity, commitment, and approach to fairness, TWT has now become an international leader in bulk transportation. In 1957, ten years to the day of the birth of their first born, they welcomed a daughter into their world. Margaret was also given the extraordinary opportunity to witness and learn these wonderful attributes of her parents as they continued to work and strengthen the company they helped to establish.
For 62 years, Charles and Nina loved each other very deeply. They were each other’s support. Their strengths complimented the other impeccably. They modeled the meaning of true love for their children, grandchildren, family, and friends. They were teachers of the best attributes anyone could desire to possess.
Charles’ heart was broken after Nina, the greatest love of his life, passed in 2008. God knew Charles’ heart and sent a wonderful companion to share his last years with, Ms. Mattie Newsom. What a blessing she was for Charles. Mattie was able to accompany Charles, his son, and granddaughter during his last trip to the USS Alabama. She was able to hear stories of his past and help create new memories for them all. The last years of Charles’ life were still filled with love and laughter and family and friends. He deserved nothing less, and his son made sure of that.
Loved ones that have cleared the path for Charles’ arrival in heaven are his father, Quincy Adams Smith, mother, Mamie Irene Croom Smith, and wife, Nina Riggs Smith; brothers, James Calvin Smith, Carey Smith, QA Smith, Stanley Smith, Phil Smith, Emmitt Smith, Norman Smith, and Roger Smith; sisters, Mamie Smith Young, Hazel Smith Broom, Kathleen Smith Moore, Laura Smith Davis, Ruby Smith Singleton, and Louise Smith; and granddaughter, Brianna Frantz.
Loved ones that will miss him dearly until they meet again are his brother, Lafayette “Fate” Smith, and sister-in-law, Emma Jean; his son, Charlie W. Smith, Jr., of Kinston; his daughter, Margaret Frantz and son-in-law, Danny, of Kinston; his granddaughter and grandson-in-law, Stacey and John Julien, of Bucharest, Romania; his granddaughter, Susan Smith, of Kinston; his granddaughter, Jessica Smith, of Knightdale; his granddaughter and grandson-in-law, Sarah and Chris O’Brien, of Kinston; and great grandchildren, John Charles Julien, IV, Sophie Uvino, Christian, Joseph, and Nina O’Brien. Also, many, many dear nieces and nephews will miss this precious man.
A memorial service to celebrate and remember the life of Charles W. Smith, Sr. will be held Sunday, January 6, 2019 at 2 p.m. at Rouse Funeral Home. A time of fellowship will follow the memorial service. Online condolences may be expressed at www.rousefh.com.
Memorials may be made to Dementia Alliance Of North Carolina, 9131 Anson Way-Suite 206, Raleigh, NC 27615.
Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange.