Bernice Smithhart

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 19, 2009

Bernice (B.C.) Smithhart died Friday, Oct. 16, 2009, at River Region Medical Center. He was 89.

Born in Yazoo County, he was the son of the late Silas L. Smithhart and Mary Mansfield Smithhart. He attended Satartia High School, moving to Vicksburg in 1942.

Mr. Smithhart was drafted into the Army in 1942, serving three years in China, Burma and India with the rank of sergeant. He joined the Naval Reserve in 1950, serving in the Korean War era.

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Mr. Smithhart was a former employee of R.G. LeTourneau Company and was later employed by O’Neill-McNamara Hardware Company for 15 years.  He retired from Feltus Hardware Company in Natchez in 1982 with 14 years of service. He was a member of the Hill Pond Hunting Club.

Mr. Smithhart was a longtime member of Bowmar Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon, a Sunday school teacher, past president of the Bowmar Adult Senior Saints (BASS) and was selected to serve on the planning committee of relocating and building Bowmar Baptist Church on Highway 61 South.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Lula Hart Smithhart; a son, Richard C. Smithhart and his wife, Lori, of Pearl; and five grandchildren, Alicia, Karli, Lauren, Morgan and Jake.

He was preceded in death by an infant son; three brothers, Garnett, Wallace and Sam Smithhart; and two sisters, Zelda Stallings and Chesley Pigg.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Riles Funeral Home with the Rev. Terry White, pastor of Bowmar Baptist Church, officiating. Burial will be at Green Acres Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 5 until 7 tonight at Riles Funeral Home.  

Pallbearers will be Bill Collins, Justin Moudy, Roy Pigg, Billy Bridges, Bud Johnson, James Smithhart and Terry Smithhart.

Honorary pallbearers will be the Adult 5 Men’s Sunday school class of Bowmar Baptist Church and the McDonald’s Coffee Drinkers Club.

Memorials may be made to Bowmar Baptist Church, 1825 U.S. 61 South, Vicksburg, MS 39180.