“Johnny” Smith was born Carlton Francis Smith to the late Francis L. Smith and Barbara Ferguson Smith on November 7th, 1940 and passed away on May 11th, 2024 from a short illness as a result of his diagnosis with Mucosal Melanoma. He was preceded in death by sister Celma Smith Abercrombie. Johnny was born on the same farm about 100 yards from where he passed away peacefully at the age of 83 surrounded by more friends and family than most of us could ever hope for. But, if you were meeting him for the first time you would not have been wrong in assuming you were meeting “Maurice Smotherweed”, as it was his standard custom to introduce himself that way just because he enjoyed seeing the responses. And if you ever found yourself within handshaking distance of him, then you most likely met him, because in his nearly 84 years on this earth, Johnny Smith never met a stranger.

Johnny graduated from Lumpkin County High School in 1958 before he and Sandra Grindle were married on August 13th, 1961, at Mt. Zion Baptist Church #2, and would go on to run the family farm that has been in the family for well over 100 years. If you would have asked him, he was married to his best friend and most wonderful woman on the planet and if you didn’t ask him, he would have likely have told you anyway. They would go on to be married for the next 63 years. In 2007, Johnny and Sandra were crowned King and Queen of Gold Rush Days in Dahlonega, Ga.

Johnny was a lifelong farmer and had the rare opportunity to make a living doing what he loved for his entire life. He had a voracious appetite for reading and consumed volumes of books over the years, which was reflected in his knowledge of subjects from rocks and geology to geography to physics. He could hold a conversation on just about any subject and if you knew him, he was always happy to talk! Johnny served many years on the Lumpkin County Farm Bureau as a director and on state committees, as well as other farm related boards that would help with farmers in the area. In his early years he was an avid deer hunter, spending time in the woods with his father, and then his boys. Later in life he shifted his attention to his grandchildren and then great-grandchildren.

Johnny is survived by his wife Sandra, sons Kay (Sara) Smith, Chris (Gerri) Smith, and Judd (Kelli) Smith. Grandchildren Jacob (Kalie) Smith, Josh (Hillary) Smith, and Katie Smith. Great-Grandchildren Ruth, Malachi, Perry and Lathan Smith. Nephews and nieces Kenneth (June) and Curtis (Lisa and daughter Heather) Abercrombie, Nancy (Ben), Carter and Bella Burford and Joey Grindle.

Special “grandchildren” Anthony (Brooke) Grindle and their children Clara, Reed, and Rhett as well as countless other friends and family who called the Smith farm their second home over the years. He was also survived by Special Conversationalist Dr. Tom “Doc” Ross with whom he spent innumerable hours contemplating the universe and all it holds.

Visitation services will be held at Anderson Underwood Funeral Home on Thursday, May 16th from 3:00 PM – 8:00 PM. Funeral services will be held at Mt. Zion Baptist #2 on Friday, May 17th at 3:00 PM, with Pastor Stephen Gerrells officiating. He will lie in state at the church from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM. Graveside services will be offered by Les and Lance Fuller and will follow at Mt. Zion cemetery with Jacob Smith, Josh Smith, Tom Ross, Jay Walls, Carter Burford and Anthony Grindle serving as Pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers please make contributions to Mt. Zion Baptist Church #2 cemetery fund in care of Randall Chambers, 615 Mt. Zion Church Rd Murrayville, Ga 30564. The family would also like to extend their gratitude to NEGM of Lumpkin, Pruitt Health, and Dr. Donna Whitfield and staff and to Harry and Wanda Allison who were ever helpful throughout his illness. We would also like to thank the many family and friends for the prayers, food, and fellowship during these hard times.

To share a memory or a condolence with the family, visit Mr. Smith’s online guestbook at andersonunderwood.com.

Anderson-Underwood Funeral Home, 2068 Highway 19 North, Dahlonega, GA 30533