Richard Dunbar Smith

Published 12:30 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2023

The funeral service for Richard Dunbar Smith will be held 10 a.m., Friday, October 13, at St. Francis of Assisi, with burial in Rosehill Cemetery, with a reception to follow burial in the Parish Hall. Visitation is from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, October 12, at Riverwood Family.

Richard Dunbar Smith, dedicated husband, father, grandfather, and friend, passed away in his sleep at home in Brookhaven, MS on October 10th. He was 75 years old.

Richard was born to Earl and Virginia Lee Smith on November 17,1947. He graduated from Brookhaven High School in 1965.  In high school he met his future wife, Claudia, and was married for 55 years. He is most well known to friends as “Pro” for being the PGA Professional and Head Professional at Brookhaven Country Club. He also had a long career in phone service including opening his own business, The Connection Source, LLC, which led to him to being nicknamed “The Phone Man.”

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Richard was blessed with a large and loving family. He married his wife, Claudia, in 1968.  They had three wonderful girls and seven grandchildren that brought him so much joy and happiness.

He loved playing golf, hunting (especially duck hunting), fishing, his dogs, having fun with friends, listening to music, Mississippi State University and making people laugh.

Being Tops, as his grandchildren knew him, came naturally to Richard. His grandkids loved his side-by-side rides, his willingness to share whatever he had and giving advice.

The family would like to thank Hospice Ministries, Inc. for their wonderful care.

Richard is survived by his wife, Claudia Graves Smith; their children Natalie (Brad Lawson), Julie (Tim Basel) and Melissa (Nick Coleman), seven grandchildren, Will Lawson, Jackson Lawson and Anna Caroline Lawson; Elizabeth Basel and Carter Basel; Luke Coleman and Price Coleman; and his brother, Michael Smith. He is preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Virginia Lee Smith.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.

Condolences and other information are available online at