The Reverend Sydney Strother Smith, III (77), of Abingdon, Virginia, passed away on May 19th, 2019 after a long battle following surgical complications.
He was born August 1, 1941 to the late Sydney Strother Smith, Jr. and Elizabeth (Betsy) Oglesby Smith, and was baptized on December 7, 1941 (Pearl Harbor Day) at Fort Knox, KY.
Strother grew up in Richmond Virginia where he was very active in Scouting, earning his Eagle Scout in 1957. He led a Troop in Abingdon VA and was a member of the Board of Directors for the Sequoia Council for several years.
He is an alumnus of The University of Richmond and Marshall Wythe School of Law where he was managing editor of the William and Mary Law Review. He received his Juris Doctor in 1968.
Strother was a skilled and passionate orator and practiced a wide range of law, especially enjoying his work in black lung, mineral rights law, and religious freedom litigation, as well as his Guardian ad Litum duties. Several of his cases went before the U.S. Supreme Court.
He was called to the ministry with the Anglican Catholic Church and was ordained as a priest in 1987, serving as vicar of several churches until his recent illness.
Strother was an active participant in politics, State organizations, and the community. He managed his father’s successful campaign for House of Delegates in 1963, was Chairman of the Washington County Republican Party, and served on the GOP State Central Committee. He was appointed to numerous State Boards, to include the Board of Public Broadcasting and the Governor’s Commission on Surplus Property. He was an “Over the Mountain Men” reenactor and taught law and debate at King University in Bristol.
He will be remembered for his quick mind, his love of debate, poetry, and storytelling, and his sincere compassion for others.
He leaves behind his wife of 52 years, Barbara Beville Smith; daughters Jacqueline Ambler Dumler (John); Colonel Sydney Anne Smith, U.S. Army (Timothy Gilhool); and Nancy Elizabeth “Beth” Stockner, (Andrew); sister Caroline Smith Parkinson; brother, Richard Smith (Sara Larch); grandchildren, Josef (Rinna), Marshall, and Aidan Dumler; James Strother and Molly Gilhool, Virginia, Josie, and Cora Stockner; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Special thanks to aide Doug Sproles and Doctor Mark Handy during his last years.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 23 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Frost Funeral Home in Abingdon. Funeral Services will be held Friday, May 24 at Green Springs Presbyterian Church, Abingdon at 2:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Good News Jail and Prison Ministry, P. O Box 9760, Henrico, VA 23228-0760.
Frost Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Abingdon, VA is honored to serve the Smith family.