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Taylorsville bids goodbye to a true public servant

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By Robin Bass

Taylorsville mourns the passing of one of her true public servants with the death of 85-year-old J.C. Smith. He died Monday at home in the city he served.

Smith was known by many for the work he did  as a realtor, with the Spencer County-Taylorsville Chamber of Commerce, as a city commissioner, a member of the V.F.W. and the American Legion. He even served his country during WWII in the U.S. Navy. But what most seem to remember him for more recently are the years he spent serving on the Spencer County Planning and Zoning commission. In fact, he held his post as the city’s representative on the committee until his death.

“He was always fair,” said Taylorsville City Commissioner Kathy Spears who worked on P&Z with Smith during the early 1990s. It was that attribute for fairness that helped him also be selected to serve as the city’s ethics committee chairman for the past several years, said Spears.

“He was more restrictive in his thinking – a stickler for adhering to the rules,” said Steve Tichenor, P&Z board member. “We had a good working relationship even though we didn’t always agree.”

To Smith’s long list of service, Tichenor added the role as chairman of Spencer County’s board of adjustments.

“He has been a fixture of the community for as long as I can remember,” said Judge Executive David Jenkins. “He was involved in everything and served as chairman of each committee at some point.”

When asked why one man would want to do so much, Jenkins said, “I think it was because he wanted to make Spencer County and especially Taylorsville a better place. He was interested in his community.”

Former city commissioner Sydney Kirsch said Smith was a long-time friend and the type of person she could always go to and talk about community issues. They worked together many years ago with the chamber of commerce.

“He was very devoted to the community and to his country. An independent person. A good man.”

Since moving to Tennessee last December, Kirsch said that she and Smith talked each Wednesday – catching up on news of Taylorsville and Spencer County.

Smith, originally from Waterford, was preceded in death by his wife, Anne Harris Smith. He is survived by a son, William Scott Smith of San Antonio, Texas and four grandchildren.

Visitation will be held at Hall-Taylor Funeral Home in Taylorsville Thursday from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Funeral services will be Friday at 2 p.m.