Charles Harry Smith Jr.

Published 12:03 pm Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Charles Harry Smith Jr., 85, of Pearl, passed away Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, at Select Specialty Hospital in Jackson.

Funeral services will be Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, at Baldwin-Lee Funeral Home chapel in Pearl with interment in Palestine Cemetery, Raymond.

He was born Feb. 8, 1935, in Vicksburg, a son of the late Charles H. Smith Sr., and Elizabeth Milner Smith. He was a 1953 graduate of Carr Central High School and a graduate of Hinds College in Raymond, where he met the love of his life, Peggy Joyce. They married on July 1, 1956, and were blessed with four children.

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Charles enjoyed a lengthy career in insurance claims, having served as claims manager and public relations for Blue Cross Blue Shield and director of claims for Mississippi Hospital Association. He served in the Army National Guard for 37 years and gained the rank of Sgt. Major. During his service, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Mississippi Magnolia Medal.

Charles was a professed Christian, and a loving father, grandfather, and friend to many.  He was a dedicated member of Park Place Baptist Church.

In his free time, Charles enjoyed watching football and baseball, sports for which he knew everything there was to know-past or present. His favorite teams to follow were the Pearl Pirates, Ole Miss and the New Orleans Saints. Charles was also a history buff, and enjoyed reminiscing about his high school days and attending class reunions. But his most favorite times were simply spent with his family.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Peggy Joyce Smith; and his brother, Richard Earl Smith.

Survivors include his sister, Joanna Smith Barnes (Johnny); and his children, Deborah Lynn Byrd (Charles Ray), Charlotte Jo Puckett (Bobby), Phillip Earl Smith, and Susan Elizabeth Burrell (Jeff); six grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and two nieces.

Charles supported several charities, among them, Boys Town, Mouth and Foot Artists, Wounded Warrior Project and St Jude’s Children’s Hospital.