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1929 - 2020
FULTON, Kentucky — Mr. Ralph M. Smith, 91, a long time resident of the Twin Cities of
Fulton and South Fulton, died Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at the Fulton
Nursing and Rehab in Fulton.
Ralph was born in McKenzie, Tenn. on June 30, 1929 to the late Marshall S.
and Lorene Patterson Smith.
He was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church in Fulton and was a
veteran of the U.S. Army serving in the Korean War as a paratrooper.
Ralph advanced to the rank of corporal with the 503rd Airborne Regiment.
During his service time and on a visit back home to Tennessee from Ft.
Campbell, Ralph was introduced by a mutual friend to Dorothy Sue (Dot)
Bowers. Dot was a student at Bethel College in McKenzie pursuing a
degree in Education. It was love at first sight and the couple married on
November 29, 1952.
The Smiths were blessed with 55 years of marriage and Dot died September
25, 2008 after a brief illness.
Ralph was a retired insurance agent with the former Life of Georgia Insurance
Company. He worked for many years as a funeral director with Hornbeak
Funeral Chapel in Fulton.
Ralph enjoyed the simple things in life. He loved gardening and sharing the
fruits of his labor, woodworking and making doll beds for lucky little
girls in his family, in his church and community. Keeping a manicured lawn and
rose beds and fishing at area lakes were also among his favorite past
Most of all, Ralph expressed his appreciation of family and friends through
the love of the written word. He took the time to write and send cards
and letters on special occasions in the lives of those he shared a relationship with.
Ralph and Dot loved to see the world and took advantage of many tour group
opportunities as well as planned trips with close friends and family.
Enjoying their love of life with each other and travel sustained them and made
for stories they delighted in sharing during dominoes games and delicious meals
prepared by Dot. The Smith Home always provided a warm welcome and
a special homemade treat served to their visitors.
When health issues arose and Ralph could no longer maintain his home,
he chose to move to Integrity Assisted Living (former Park Terrace) in
South Fulton — where he resided for three years, He was so proud of the home he
made there and adopted the staff as his family. They returned his love and
spoiled him daily.
When it became more evident, more nursing care was required for age-related
issues, Ralph was admitted to Fulton Nursing and Rehab in Fulton.
Again, the staff there provided for all his needs and gave him the attention he
needed on a daily basis.
When you would ask Ralph what he needed? He would reply, “Not a thing,
but a kind word, I have a roof over my head, a comfortable bed and three good meals
daily, that is all you can ask for.”
Ralph’s simple thoughts on life never left him in his advanced years and all whom
were blessed to have known him will never forget that.
Ralph is survived by Donald Vaughn of McKenzie, who was raised as his
brother, two sisters-in-law, Brenda (Charles) Sosebee of LaGrange, Georgia and
Betty Bowers of Columbia, Tenn., and several nieces and nephews,
cousins and special friends.
Funeral services are at 2 p.m. Friday at Hornbeak Funeral Chapel.
Bro. Gordon Wilbanks will officiate. Burial will follow in Obion County
Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be held at the funeral home from 1 p.m. Friday
until the funeral hour.
Pallbearers will be Mike Lynch, Kent Hutchins, Garrett Hutchins, Gene
Dunning, Nicky Bowers and Jimmy Jones.
Ralph supported various organizations and charities. To honor his life
and legacy, expressions of sympathy may take form of gifts to the charity of you