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Edward Douglas Smith

June 27, 1936 ~ September 23, 2019 (age 83)

Edward Douglas Smith (Big Ed) was born June 27, 1936 in Booneville, Mississippi to John B. Smith and Eula Shackleford Smith.  He passed away on September 23, 2019 at UAB Hospital in the Neuro Intensive Care Unit

Ed was preceded in death by his parents, father-in-law and mother-in-law, several aunts, uncles and cousins, and sister-in-law Mary Smith.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years Shelia McCleskey Smith; children, Traci Smith Thornton and husband Dale, Edward Douglas Smith Jr. (Doug) and wife Melinda, Amanda Smith Wood and husband Lee, Jennifer Smith Creel and husband Matt, and Georgia Smith and fiancé Mason Montney; grandchildren, Lauren Thornton Duffey and husband Drew, Seth Thornton and Smith David Wood; brothers, Howard Smith, his sons Sean Smith and wife Jennifer and their children Colin and Katherine;  Jon Smith and wife Lauren and their children McClain , Brooklyn , and Arden.  Robert Smith and wife Peggy their children Christen Smith Kinsella and husband Patrick, Meredith Smith Evans and husband Matthew and their children Asher and Ezra, Abe Smith and wife Jacqueline and their children Sutton, Sawyer, and Henry.

Ed arrived at Deshler High School in 1950 from the Panama Canal Zone with his parents and brother Howard where his dad had been working for several years. He began his career at Deshler High School his freshman year where he played football, basketball, baseball and ran track for the tigers. He was the first Deshler athlete to letter in all four sports in the same year. He was named first team All TVC and All Area in football, basketball and baseball.  At 6’4” the Birmingham News reported that he was the tallest running back in the South.

Following high school, he received a football scholarship to Mississippi State University, where he played both football and basketball. After graduation from college he played semi-pro football for the Huntsville Rockets and the Alabama Hawks. In 2008 he was inducted into the Colbert County Sports Hall of Fame.

Ed was a proud member of the IBEW local 558 for all of his working life. He retired from Reynolds Metal Company after approximately 38 years. He decided he wasn’t quite ready to retire completely so he worked construction for a few more years.

During his free time Ed enjoyed coaching and/or attending whatever sport his children were involved in. He also farmed, raised cattle, hunted, fished and gardened.  He was never one to sit around because he felt like to keep living, he had to keep moving.  We all are going to miss “Big Ed”.

Pallbearers will be Matt Creel, Drew Duffy, Lee Wood, Mason Montney, Seth Thornton, Ronnie Liles.

Honorary will be Dale Thornton, Jeff Wynn, Zac Wynn, Tommy Thompson, Teddy Shell and John Thompson.

The visitation and funeral will be held at Colbert Memorial Chapel on Thursday, September 26, 2019. The visitation will be from noon until 2 PM and the service with be in the Chapel at 2 PM. The service will be conducted by nephew Sean Smith and brother Robert Smith.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Kruzn for a Kure Foundation in Ed’s memory. The address is P O Box 2752, Muscle Shoals, AL 35662.

An online registry may be signed at

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