Autry “Coach” Donnie Smith

Published 10:19 am Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Memorial Service for Autry “Coach” Donnie Smith of Brookhaven are Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Riverwood Family Funeral Service.

A Memorial gathering and visitation is Thursday, Nov. 7, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. at the funeral home.

Mr. Smith, 72, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013, after a courageous battle with cancer.

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He was born May 13, 1941, to J.D. and Lura (Arnold) Smith in Natchez. He was the youngest of four boys. He graduated from Washington High School inĀ 1106SmithDonnie1959 and then went on to attend the University of Southern Mississippi where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in 1963.

He started histeaching and coaching career, which was his real passion, at Monticello High School. It was in Monticello that he met the love of his life, Elizabeth “Lib” Patterson. They married in 1965 in Prentiss. He then joined his oldest brother in Basile, La., to coach and teach at Basile High School. During that time, Donnie and Lib became the proud parents of their only daughter, Page Smith-Jordan. They then returned to Monticello in order for him to become principal, teacher, mentor and head coach of all sports for the young Lawrence County Academy.

In 1980, Donnie began a 33-year career in the oilfield industry as a fluids engineer, where he became a highly regarded deep-water specialist for Baker Hughes. He served Baker Hughes throughout the Gulf of Mexico as well as serving as a consultant in Malaysia for the building of a new drill ship.

Despite a busy schedule, Donnie volunteered his time to the sports program at Brookhaven Academy where his wife taught for more than 20 years. He proudly served as a volunteer assistant football coach to Coach Hollis Rutter for a period of time. Donnie was the ultimate B.A. Cougar fan because of his love for all sports and his dedication to helping youth achieve their personal best. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather and took great pride in his family. He loved following his granddaughter’s equestrian and sporting activities and was an avid hunter and gentleman farmer as well.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Leslie A. Smith of Oakdale, La., and Dalton D. Smith of Bossier City, La.

Survivors are his wife, Lib; daughter, Page and her husband Keith Jordan; grandchildren, Victoria and Mary Elizabeth; brother, Gerald Rex Smith; numerous nieces and nephews and in-laws.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, P.O. Box 4486, Houston, Texas 77210-4486.

Online Donation at:


The Wounded Warrior Project at

The family of Mr. Smith would like to thank everyone for their love, kindness, prayers and support throughout this time. It was deeply appreciated.

If you would like to leave a word of sympathy or a comment to the family, you may do so at and click on his name.