Emanuel Nat Smith

Published 4:44 pm Monday, December 20, 2021

In the early morning on Friday, Dec. 10, Emanuel Smith transitioned from his earthly home at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Hospital in Fredericksburg. He was born in Farmville on Feb. 9, 1947, to the late Deacon Mitchell Smith and the late Deaconess Annie Eliza Smith. He was the youngest of thirteen children and was always introduced as the “Baby Brother.”

He gave his life to Christ at an early age, and was baptized at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church, Tuggle. As a young adult, he was very involved and participated in the youth choir, Sunday school, church plays and other aspects of the church’s programs. As an adult, he maintained and strengthened his relationship with Christ, becoming a true man of God. He was not ashamed of the gospel.

On Oct. 4, 1997, Emanuel was joined in holy matrimony to the love of his life, Sharon Taylor. During his marriage, Sharon was his confidant, best friend, adviser whom he respected, honored and cherished for all 24 glorious years. Together, they enjoyed reading, researching, neighborhood walks, road trips and spending time with family. His sister often jokingly praised and thanked Sharon for her patience and faithful partnership with him.

Emanuel received part of his primary education and graduated from the Prince Edward County Public School System in Farmville. He was a student during the 1959-1963 desegregation Era and also attended school in Detroit, Michigan, and Amelia County.

After high school, he served two years honorably in the United States Army. During his service, he was stationed within the States and in Germany. After his honorable discharge, he attended Virginia State University and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in History. He made his mother and family members very proud, as he was the only child among his siblings who matriculated and earned a 4-year college degree. Emanuel was extremely successful in his professional career. He worked many years for Reynolds Aluminum and subsequently for Keebler and Kellogg companies as a salesman and advanced to District Manager. During his tenure, he received numerous bonuses, awards, special recognitions, certificates of appreciation, top salesman awards and many more honors.

Everyone looked forward to the delicious snacks that he would share and bring to the family gatherings. As an individual, Emanuel held a “special” place in everyone’s heart. He was truly a Giver rather than a Taker. He loved his family. With each sibling, niece, and nephew, there was a special bond and connection as each was his “FAVORITE”. His nephew, Taj Doaty and niece, Tara Doaty, were the two children he never had. To them, he was always affectionately known as, Uncle E. He shared words of wisdom, life advice and was willing to assist whenever and however he was needed. He was one of a kind, a perfectionist, organization extraordinaire who was loved and deeply appreciated by his family. He was known as the family historian. In 2020, Emanuel took on the arduous task of researching, compiling and distributing a genealogy report (family tree) of the Smith-West family descendants. This was just one of his many labors of love. Through the years, he coordinated several Smith-West Family Reunions that focused on good food, unity, love and fellowship. After his transition to new life on Dec. 10, Emanuel was still giving. As his last act of selfless love, his skin grafts were donated for future cancer patients. The best portion of a good man’s life is his nameless acts of kindness and of love.

Emanuel leaves to cherish his precious memories wife, Sharon Taylor-Smith; brother, Hugh M. Smith Sr. of Seaside, California; sister, Odessa Smith Doaty, of Baltimore, Maryland; sisters-in-law, Lillian Anderson Smith of Dillwyn, Thelma Eanes Smith of Prospect and Rebecca King (Warren) of Calvert County, Maryland, Carolyn Taylor of Laurel, Maryland and brother-in-law, Henry A. Taylor of Spartanburg, South Carolina and a host of nieces, nephews, neighbors and friends.

We look forward to the days when we will all reign together.

Family and friends were received at Mountcastle Turch Funeral Home, 13318 Occoquan Road, Woodbridge VA 22191 on Sunday, Dec. 19, from 1-3 p.m. A life celebration service was held at the funeral home on Monday, Dec. 20, at 1 p.m. Interment will take place in Quantico National Cemetery in Triangle on Thursday, Dec. 23, at 1 p.m.