Donald Ray Smith, Sr.March 12, 1960 ~ March 28, 2018 (age 58)
Donald Ray Smith was born to the late Willie James and Jerrie Mae Smith on March 12, 1960 in Birmingham, Alabama. He was the fourth of five children. He was educated in the Detroit Board of Education System and attended Wayne County Community College.
Donald accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized under the Pastorship of the late Rev. Clarence Brown. He attended Christ Missionary Baptist Church and served on the youth usher board up until he went into the military. He was a current member of Bridegroom Apostolic Church in Jacksonville, Florida and also a member of Family Worship Center in Birmingham, Alabama.
Donald joined the Marine Corps at the age of twenty in 1980 and served for ten years. It was while stationed in Jacksonville, Florida that he was introduced to his wife Carolyn Grimsley by former marine friend and former brother-in-law, Don Casper, Sr. Donald and Carolyn was wedded on January 14, 1983 and to their union they had one daughter, Canithia LaShea and one son, Donald Ray Jr.
Donald was a selfless person and always put his family before himself, his family came first in everything he did. He was a people person who never met a stranger. He was considered a big teddy bear and gentle giant to his family; he would give you the shirt off his back if it would put a smile on your face.
Preceding him in death are parents, Willie and Jerrie Smith; brothers, Willie James, Jr. and Michael Ray; grandmother, Johnnie Pearl Blair; father-in-law, Saint Joseph Grimsley; brothers-in-law, Charles Grimsley and Maurice Ball; and sister-in-law, Ruth Grimsley.
He is survived by his love and devoted wife, Carolyn Smith; son, Donald Smith, Jr.; daughter, Canithia Smith both of Jacksonville, FL; one sister, Pamela Collins (Jerrell) of Birmingham, Ala; one brother, Donnell Smith (Connie) of Detroit, Mich; mother-in-law, Mrs. Ruby Dean Grimsley of Jacksonville, FL; two uncles, Ronald Blair of Birmingham, Ala and Frank Collins, Sr. of Detroit, Mich; one aunt, Shirley Blair of Chicago, IL; four sisters-in-law, Sandra Casper of Tallahassee, FL. Jacqueline Ball, Shirley Grimsley Davis (Earnest) and Melva Autman (Dedric) all of Jacksonville, FL; one brother-in-law, Joseph Grimsley of Clarksville, TN; nine nieces, twelve nephews, and a host of great nieces, nephews and friends.
Sarah L. Carter's Funeral Home Southside is serving the family.