Posted by Cindy Bracker, Communications Director

Joel B. Smith, 52, passed away on September 17, 2015, in Kinston, NC. His death was unexpected, but his life was a full one. A computer professional in his work, he also excelled at many hobbies as a potter, disc golfer, gardener, photographer, and so much more. He was generous in giving his time and talents to many, providing computer assistance to non-profits, serving as a board member of the Kinston/Lenoir County Parks & Recreation Department, supporting the Lenoir County Farmer’s Market, donating pottery for fund-raisers, and organizing disc golf events, including annual charity tournaments for food banks and the SPCA. Joel loved fishing with his friends and making and sharing pottery. He loved reading. He loved growing tomatoes and eating them straight from the garden. Joel was creative in all he did and was kind and encouraging to everyone he met. He will be remembered as a renaissance man, loyal friend, devoted son, and loving husband, who will be missed by many people from all walks of life.

Joel graduated from Kinston High School in 1981, earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy and Religion from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 1985, and a Master of Arts Degree in Philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1990.

He was the son of Leo Edgar Smith and Frances Grell Smith, and husband of Christian Hayes Smith, all of Kinston. His family in Ohio includes his Aunt Bertha Grell, her late husband Charles Grell, and cousins: Kay Grell Beldon, her husband Tim and their daughter Nicole; Kevin Grell and his wife Peggy; Cindy Rausch Milarcik and her granddaughter Caitlin Curran; Richard Rausch and his wife Winnie; and Edith Jean Woodyachat Christ and her family. His family in Southern Pines, NC, includes Cleon P. Hayes; Peter and Linda Hayes, their daughters Samantha Hayes and Jennifer Hayes Wincklhofer, with her family Joseph, Hollyn and Joseph Mason.

Family and friends are invited to gather in sharing memories and celebrating Joel’s life on Sunday, September 27, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., at Barnet Park Disc Golf Course, hole number 10. (3607 Sand Clay Road, Kinston, NC; please enter through the Hill Crest Road entrance on the southeast side of the park.) Please bring any photos you have of Joel that you would like to share.

In lieu of flowers, donations would be welcome to support the Kinston Community Council for the Arts (400 N. Queen St., Kinston, NC 28501), and the Kinston/Lenoir County Parks & Recreation Department (2602 W. Vernon Ave., Kinston, NC 28504).

Categories: Featured, Member Stories

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