Dr. Jack Smith, educator, gospel singer, dies at 81
Dr. Jack E. Smith of Montgomery, Louisiana, was buried Saturday, November 23, following his death on November 20. He was a retired educator, and a member of the Pine Ridge Quartet, a gospel singing group based in Central Louisiana, which he helped found in 1948.

He appeared with the Quartet at the Louisiana Loggers Hall of Fame programs in Dodson and Winnfield each year of its presentation after the first.

Dr. Smith was a graduate of Atlanta High School and Northwestern State University, where he received both his bachelor's and masters degrees, and the University of Arkansas, where he earned his doctorate in education administration. He completed post doctoral studies at University of North Texas. During a 46-year career as an educator, Dr. Smith taught and coached at Montgomery High School and Verda High School. He served as principal of Neville High School in Monroe from 1966-73, during the court-ordered integration period--the stress of which contributed to his first heart attack. He was vice president of Rich Mountain Community College in Mena, Arkansas, and superintendent of schools in his native Grant Parish, Louisiana from 1987-1990.

He served in the U.S. Army as a troop information and education specialist. He was a 50-year Master Mason, and a Past Master of Montgomery Lodge No. 168 in Montgomery. His hobby interests included hunting and fishing with friends and family in the nearby lakes, and following the football fortunes of LSU and University of Arkansas.

Dr. Smith was born in Atlanta, Louisiana March 13, 1932, and died November 30, 2013, at Grace Home, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife, Geneva Garner Smith of Montgomery, a son, John O. Smith and wife Lisa and their daughters Ashley, Lindsey, and Haley of Midland, Michigan; daughter, Jeannine Smith Kessinger and husband Kris and their daughters Alyson and Lindley of Aledo, Texas; niece Debbie Smith Worley and husband Mike, of West Monroe; great niece, Emily Durham Wilhite and husband Blake and their daughter Olivia of Monroe.

He had a special bond with fellow members of the Pine Ridge Quartet, Clyce Lingenfelter, Owen Jordan, and Paul Shows, and with earlier members now deceased, Kenneth Brady, Buddy King, J.E. Garner, and J.L. Wailes.

Pallbearers were Kris Kessinger, Gil Harrison, James Otis Garner, Willie Guillory, Benny Smith, Mike Worley, Frank Bandy, and Rayburn Smith.

Funeral services were November 22 at First United Methodist Church in Montgomery, with burial at Mt. Zion cemetery under direction of Southern Funeral Home in Winnfield.

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