Gary Preston Smith

Gary Preston Smith

May 23, 66, La Grange

Following a courageous fight, Gary Preston Smith, 66, passed away Saturday, May 23, 2020. Gary was born December 15, 1953 in Wayne County to the late William Preston Smith and Doris Newsome Smith.

Some of Gary’s happiest moments were spent outdoors. Gary lived for the thrill of the hunt. Hunting for that elusive trophy buck or calling in a wild turkey brought Gary much joy.

A lover of history, Gary was a proud member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans-Ram Neuse Camp #1427. Gary spent a lot of time with his metal detector looking for Civil War relics.

Community minded, Gary was a longtime member of Wayne Masonic Lodge #112 and was a member of the New Hope Ruritan Club.

Hard working and driven by nature, Gary was proud of his working career. He worked 16 years with Smith Hardware, owned and operated Suggs Manufacturing for eight years and last worked with Ferguson Enterprises where he was employed for 19 years.

Gary was a man of precision, needing for everything to be handled just right. His motto in wood and metal working carried through in other aspects of life—measure twice, cut once.

Gary had a natural mindset of putting others before himself. Spending time caring for his garden was just another way he cared for others, as most of what he grew was given away to friends and family. His love of family, work, and home kept him grounded in North Carolina. Although a vacation to the beach or mountains was nice, he didn’t want to be away from home too long.

A graveside service celebrating Gary’s life will be held Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 3 p.m. at Fairview Cemetery, La Grange.

Gary is survived by his wife of almost nineteen years, Connie Johnson Smith; two sons, Samuel Eric Smith, Benjamin Preston Smith and wife, Hannah; sister, Phyllis Smith and husband, Darius; niece, Leslie Hunter and husband, Paul; nephew, William D. Smith; great niece, Kate; great nephew, Davis; and his canine companions, Billy Jack and Zeb.

Online condolences may be expressed at In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Beston United Methodist Church, c/o Lisa Ritko, 1501 East Mulberry Street, Goldsboro, NC 27530; the Sons of Confederate Veterans Ram Neuse Chapter, c/o Mike Parker, 2238 Gold Leaf Circle, Kinston, NC 28504; or the ALS Association of North Carolina, 4 N. Blount Street, Raleigh, NC 27601. Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange.