Joe K. Smith Jr. (Kicker), 88, of Cumming passed away on Jan. 4, 2021. Born on Aug. 30, 1932, Joe was a lifelong native of Forsyth County. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe K. Smith Sr. and Carrie Grizzle Smith. At the age of 12, he was saved at Concord Baptist. Later in life, he became a member of Zion Hill Baptist Church, where he was a member until his death. On Aug. 29, 1953, he married his sweetheart Jane Martin. From this union came Darlene Smith Seidel, Mylinda Smith Merck (James), and Timothy Smith (Millie).
Many years later, Joe was blessed with many grandchildren, who lovingly called him Pappy. They include Cheryl Seidel, Nathanael Seidel, Lauren Seidel Miles (Todd), Rachel Seidel Norris (Loren), Julie Merck Williams (Chad), Nicole Merck LeCave (Sean), Mary Jane Merck Cagle (Dustin), Ashley Merck, Duffey John (DJ) Smith, Murphy Smith, and many great-grandchildren.
As newlyweds, Joe and Jane began to build the foundations of a successful business together. They first purchased farm equipment, where they provided services for others. Later, they bought a school bus that Joe drove for some years. After this, they began to raise chickens, which led them to start cleaning out chicken houses, and hauling sawdust and shavings. In 1972, Joe and Jane started the mulch and soils manufacturing plant, Smith Industries Inc., and continued hauling to customers with their trucking business. They sold bulk and bagged products to industries such as Pike Nurseries, Home Depot, Walmart, Lowes, and individual garden centers. At the peak of their business, they employed 125-150 employees.
In 1997, Joe and Jane decided to sell their lifelong business to retire. However, Joe continued to assist on many other projects locally and in distant places. He went on a mission trip to help build a church in Jamaica, assisted with hurricane relief efforts in Texas and South Carolina, and many other humanitarian projects. One thing that he was most passionate about was helping his son and daughter-in-law with their food bank, The Unseen Hand Food Ministries. Joe and Jane helped deliver food boxes to many families throughout many counties, including Forsyth. He enjoyed helping people and continued to help at the food bank for many years.
Kicker was many things during his lifetime. He was a farmer, businessman, jokester, volunteer, humanitarian, Christian, but most importantly he was a family man. His greatest pride was in his family. He will be dearly missed by the ones who loved him the most.
Funeral services were held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23 at Ingram Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Sam Rickett, Rev. Terry Cowart, and Rev. Mason Caine officiating.
Entombment followed at Sawnee View Mausoleum.
The family received friends on Saturday from 11 a.m. until the time of service.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that donations be made to the Unseen Hands Food Ministries at 5650 Riley Road, Cumming, GA, 30028.
Ingram Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.
Dawson County News
Jan. 27, 2021