Dr. Jerry Claude Smith

Published 1:27 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Dr. Jerry Claude Smith, PhD, age 78, of Atlanta, GA, peacefully passed away Wednesday morning, January 12, 2022.

In accordance with Jerry’s wishes, he will be cremated and buried in Jacksonville, FL. A service will be held graveside on March 5, 2022 at 1 p.m. at Evergreen Cemetery, 4535 North Main Street, Jacksonville, FL 32206.

A gathering to remember Jerry will be held at Georgia State University on March 14, 2022 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Petit Science Center, 100 Piedmont Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30303.

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Jerry was born on March 3, 1943 in Brookhaven, MS. He grew up in Union Church, MS and was brought up in the Baptist faith. He graduated from Jefferson High School in Fayette, MS (1961). He was voted Most Dependable, Most Dignified Senior, and Most Intellectual.

He went on to earn his BS in Chemistry from the University of Mississippi (1965), Ph.D from UNC-Chapel Hill (1971), Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the University of Arizona (1972) and NIH Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biochemical Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania (1974). He started work as a Chemistry professor at Georgia State University (GSU-Atlanta) in 1979 and retired from GSU 38 years later in 2017. He served as Director for a major NSF program he developed that trained approximately 1,000,000 students.

He loved traveling abroad, teaching chemistry, studying WWII history, collecting Steuben glassworks and listening to classical and jazz music. He also loved restoring his classic cars and trucks and meticulously caring for his Candler Park, Atlanta home that was built in 1910.

Jerry is preceded in death by his loving wife Amelia Smith and parents Clinton (Dick) C. Smith and Leota Currie Smith. He is survived by his sister Joyce Williams and her husband Jackie; nephew Jeff Williams, niece Jennifer Williams Otto and great-niece Tay Collum; his son, Rowan Sears and his wife, Yesenia (Jessie) Morin; daughter, Lynette Howard and her husband Pat; grandchildren, Nathalie Howard, Alex Howard, Ivan Sears and Ethan Sears. 

In lieu of flowers please donate to Parkinson’s Research or WABE radio.

On-line condolences may be expressed at www.crowellbrothers.com. Arrangements entrusted to Crowell Brothers Funeral Homes & Crematory, 5051 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Peachtree Corners, Georgia 30092. 770-448-5757.