Mr. Smith, age 87, of Lebanon, passed away Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at Tennova Healthcare-Lebanon.
Mr. Dan Smith has lived and farmed in Wilson County all his life. In 1942, the Smith family moved to a farm in the Greenwood community, a few miles southeast of Lebanon. Smith continued to farm there until his passing, raising cattle – primarily Angus – along with hay and permanent pasture on 360 acres. He was once among Wilson County’s leading burley tobacco producers, and at one time, raised Tennessee walking horses and several champion steers across the Southeast. He was a graduate of Lebanon High School and a member of Bethel Church of Christ.
Smith was a charter member of the Wilson Farmers Cooperative, which was chartered Nov. 22, 1949. In 1953, he was elected to Wilson Farmers Co-op’s board of directors, where he served for 42 years. He was elected to the Tennessee Farmers Cooperative’s board in 1972, where he served for nine years. In 2007, Mr. Smith received the Cooperative Spirit Award from TFC.
Mr. Smith was a valued board member of the Murfreesboro-based Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp. since 1971. Nationally, he served for 22 years as sergeant at arms of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s annual meeting and chief sergeant.
He was a pioneer in youth and young farmers’ activities in Tennessee. As an FFA member in 1949, he received that organization’s highest distinction, the American Farmer Degree. He was a charter member and first president of Wilson County’s Young Farmers and Homemakers organization.
Mr. Smith is a past president of the Wilson County Farm Bureau, a position he held for 10 years, and served on its board for more than 40 years. He served a three-year term on an advisory committee for Co-Bank in Louisville, Kentucky. He and his wife were awarded a lifetime membership in the Wilson County Livestock Association. In addition, he served on the USDA ASCS County Board for several years. In 2009, he was inducted to the Wilson County Agriculture Hall of Fame.
In all, Mr. Dan Smith has a combined service on community boards of more than 200 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Andrew William and Fannie Sullivan Smith; brother, Ray Smith; two sisters, Martha Robinson, Mary Gladys Mooneyhan; and a sister-in-law, Geneva Tarpley.
He is survived by his wife of more than 55 years, Vondie Tarpley Smith; two sisters, Julia (Larry) Strange, Dorothy (Doug) Waters; sister-in-law, Dorothy Jean Smith; brother-in-law, J.T. Robinson; sister-in-law, Roberta Tarpley Bailey; numerous nieces and nephews; great-nieces and great-nephews; and special great-great-nephew, Spencer Allen Wright.
Memorials may be made to the Wilson County 4-H Livestock Group.
Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home in Lebanon is in charge of arrangements, 615-444-2142, ligonbobo.com.
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