Earl J. “E.J.” Smith, age 58 of Maynardville, Tennessee, world’s 1st Flip-Flop Clogger and well-known Funeral Director passed away Monday, February 1, 2021 at his home after a 16-year battle with ITP. He traveled many miles to fight this disease and touched many lives through this battle. He was a devoted funeral director of Ailor Mortuary, Byrds Mortuary and Cooke-Campbell Mortuary in Maynardville, Tennessee and a monument salesman for Reece Monument Company where he met many friends and touched so many families. E. J. was a member of Fairview Baptist Church in Tater Valley, Tennessee, a former Union County, Tennessee Commissioner. Member of Luttrell, Tennessee Fire Department and a member of the Tennessee Funeral Directors Association. Preceded in death by parents, J. P. Smith and Dorothy P. Tharp Smith; brothers, John E. “J-Bird” and Don Smith; grandparents, Charlie and Ella Smith; Ernest and Pearl Tharp; ; his life-long friend, Lawrence “Boo” Thomas; friends that helped him in the funeral business, E. J. Ailor, Dwight Campbell, Clarence Byrd, Dave Hutchison and Larry Oliver.
Survivors: wife, Crystal Graves Smith; daughter and son-in-law, Erika Smith Hickman and Jesse; son, Jayden Smith; grandchildren, Jeylen and Summitt Hickman; grand-dog, Dolly Reece. Step-grandchildren, Melody, Bryson, Nevaeh and Easton Hickman. Father figure of Kate Myers, Alison Camper, Brandon and Lance Thomas. Brother and sister-in-law, Mack and Lodene Smith; sisters and brothers-in-law, Shirley Nelson, Judy Smith, Clara Tolliver, Louella and Frankie Waskom, Kay and Jack Wyrick; sister-in-law, Donna Smith. Nieces and nephews, Barbara, Ricky and Junior Nelson, Jackie Hill, Jerrie Mathis, Dewaynetta Muncey, Jeff Tolliver, Sherri Smith, Donnie Smith, Diane Collins, Shane Waskom and Tonya Wolfenbarger. Several great-nieces and nephews. Aunt, Sue Tinklenberg. Like a mother, Patsy Wynn. Mother and father-in-law, Loretta and Roy Graves; brother-in-law, Rev. Joe Graves and wife, Michelle. Special friends that helped him in the funeral business, Earl Ailor II, Bill Martin, A. E. Reed, Dennis Alder, Helen Taylor, Doug Osborne, Dottie Campbell, Crystal Smith, Russell Gillenwater, Becky Stover, Larry Baldwin and Jason Hopkins. A special thank you to Amedisys Hospice, Dr. Saji Eapen, Tiffany Shipe, Tennessee Cancer Specialist, Sam and Amanda of the Harrogate, Tennessee Office. Hair dresser, Amy Setsor.
The family will receive friends 4-7 p.m. Thursday, February 4, 2021 with funeral services to follow at 7 p.m., Fairview Baptist Church, Tater Valley Road, Luttrell, Tennessee with Rev. Gary Donehew, Rev. Matthew Leonard, Rev. Randy Beeler, Rev. Jimmy Davidson and Rev. Greg Hurst officiating with music by The Washams, The Valley Boys and County Line, and Damon Seal. Family and friends will meet at 12:30 p.m. Friday at Cooke-Campbell Mortuary to proceed to Pleasant View Cemetery, Maynardville, Tennessee for a 2 p.m. graveside service. Pallbearers: Norman Branson, Jeff Phillips, Mike Reece, Dennis Alder, Bill Martin, Joe Graves, Frankie Waskom, Jack Wyrick, Greg Beeler;
Honorary Pallbearers: Joey Bailey, Infusion center: Shawna, Chaney, Mary Evans Gadison ,Tracy Shipley, Sandy Burgess, Debbie Karnes, Kristy Keck, Kimberly, Patty Helms, Susan Lotreck, Tina Ray Daniels, Cheryl Kolatorowicz, Clay Kyle, Tami Sharpe Taylor, Janine Mingie, Lindsey Jerkins, Lauren McKissick Young, Sam and Amanda of the Harrogate Office. David Savage, Mark Munsey, Britt Farrah, Jimmy Ford, Luttrell, Tennessee Volunteer Fire Department, Union County, Tennessee Sheriff’s Department, Maynardville, Tennessee Police Department, Cooke-Campbell Mortuary Staff, All funeral directors and employees of Reece Monument Company. The body will be in repose from 12 noon till 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday morning till 1 p.m. at the funeral home.
Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville, Tennessee.
**THIS OBITUARY WAS WRITTEN BY THE FAMILY**
*This obituary is announced as a courtesy to the Smith family by Laurel Funeral Home.
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