Cover photo for Johnnie Greer Smith, Jr.'s Obituary
Johnnie Greer Smith, Jr. Profile Photo

Johnnie Greer Smith, Jr.

August 15, 1935 – December 7, 2020


Thursday, December 10, 2020

Visitation: 10:00 A.M.

Life Celebration: 11:00 A.M.


Held at

Nelson & Sons Memorial Chapel

824 Lipscomb Street

Shelbyville, Tennessee



Ray’s Corner Family Cemetery

Chapel Hill, Tennessee


The Celebration of Life Service

will be streamed via FaceBook Live

and Zoom starting at 11am

Zoom ID is 718 595 5802
Zoom passcode is KaLf4h

Facebook link

Johnnie Greer Smith, Jr. was born August 15th, 1935 on his family’s farm in Unionville, Tennessee.  He saw his last sunset December 6, 2020 in Shelbyville.  Johnnie was a fighter from the very beginning, as he was born prematurely, and spent eighty-five years beating the odds.

He graduated from Tennessee State University in 1959 with a degree in romance languages.  It was at TSU that he met Doris Toms, his future wife.  They were married shortly after both graduated and spent 61 years together.

Johnnie lived in Tennessee, Michigan, Arkansas, Illinois, Ohio, and the Virgin Islands.  He and Doris traveled extensively and spent several winters in Mexico.  Johnnie was a member of the Baha’i Faith, and his belief in the oneness of humankind led to a lifetime of faithful service within the Faith and larger community.  He was a scout leader, Civil Defense volunteer, Civil Air Patrol member and EMT.  In Shelbyville, he and Doris, a lifelong educator, were engaged with the Juanpablo preschool play group hosted at St. William Catholic Church.  They formed relationships with the children and their parents that have led to deep and meaningful friendships.  Johnnie was quick to lend a helping hand and comfort those in distress.  His jovial character and good-natured teasing put those around him at ease even when he claimed not to be of this world.  Johnnie was a good cook and enjoyed entertaining.  He had a lifelong love of water sports.  To his last days, he enjoyed the socializing and pain relief that came with water aerobics.

Mr. Smith is survived by his wife, Doris H. Smith; three daughters, Shirley J. Claxton, Cordia Y. Smith and Tahirih F. Ogunfiditimi; one son, Gilbert A. Smith; seven grandchildren, Andre Smith, Melanie Claxton, Brandon Claxton, Gyasi Blake, Melkitsedek Ogunfiditimi, Yadidyah Ogunfiditimi and Enoch Ogunfiditimi; one great-grandchild, Ava Rae Smith; son-in-law, Olatide Ogunfiditimi; and a host of cousins, friends and other relatives.

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


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