Cover photo for Charles Smith's Obituary
Charles Smith Profile Photo

Charles Smith

d. August 18, 2023


Quietly, Friday morning, August 18, at 9:34 A.M., God came and the voice that once sang on the Celestial Coir at Cumberland joined God’s heavenly chorus.  Charles Smith, the sixth child of Mr. Charlie Cann and Pecola Wilson Smith, was born in Florence, South Carolina on January 2, 1949.  He attended Holmes Elementary School where all children in East Florence walked to school.  In 1967, after graduating from Wilson Senior High School, Charles enrolled at South Carolina State College for two years.

After leaving South Carolina State, Charles married his wife, Margie Yvonne Richardson, on August 17, 1969 and went to work for CSX Railroad. That year was a momentous year for Charles.  He became a husband, went to work for the railroad, and as life so often did at that time, he was drafted into the United States Army during the Viet Nam War Era.

In 1970, Margie and Charles welcomed their only son, Charles (Chuck) Smith, Jr. It was also during this year that this young father had to leave his young family to serve on foreign soil.  Charles was sent to his duty station in Germany where he served until 1973.  He returned to his family and to his original employment with CSX Railroad.  Upon his return to civilian life, he enrolled at Francis Marion College where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology in 1976

Ever the man with purpose and vision, Charles, along with other Francis Marion students, had the idea to form a chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and he became one of the charter members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Kappa Chi Chapter chartered in 1975 on the campus of Francis Marion University.  Well-known for his style and elegance, Charles was a man who was engaged not only in the business of Kappa Chi, but his church and his work. He served as the Chairman of the Cumberland Administrative Council, a member of the Trustee Board, the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee, the Fifth Sunday Choir, the Men’s Chorus, the Celestial Choir, Finance Committee, Senior Usher, and other ministries in the church.  He was devoted to his church and gave unselfishly of his time, talents and resources.

Charles also saw a vision and a purpose in his employment. During his tenure with South Carolina Central Railroad, he was instrumental in organizing a union for the men who worked for the railroad.  Such a brave move cost him his job, but this man of purpose and vision felt a moral obligation to ensure that workers were protected even though he lost his job.  That was who Charles was: a man of vision who put other’s needs first.  Following his departure from South Carolina Central, Charles went to work at the Department of Corrections.  Even there, he was unwilling to let the status quo be.  When his wife asked him, why he was so willing to stand up for others, he said, “Dr. King stood up for us.”  With the same purpose in mind as Dr. King, Charles stood up for the rights of others in his job with the Department of Corrections.  As a result of Charles’ willingness to stand up for others, he was instrumental in getting other African-Americans promoted to supervisory positions in the Department of Corrections. Charles Smith in all that he accomplished was a man of purpose and vision and his visions benefited his fellowman.

A staunch Dallas Cowboy fan, Charles was as faithful to his team as he was a devoted husband and father and a well-dressed man.  He cared intensely about his appearance.  A debonair dresser keenly aware of his appearance, he was “Mister GQ” and when Charles entered the room, he was noticed and admired.

Charles has probably joined the heavenly chorus because he loved to sing and because  that is who God made him to be and who he was as a man of purpose.  Those who are left to cherish his memory are left with memories of a man who made life better for others, sometimes sacrificing his own care for others with them

Charles was surrounded by the joys of his life who will always remember him as the man who shared so much of himself with them: His wife Margie, his only son, Chuck and their beautiful grandchildren: Charles (Eshe) Smith, III, (Florence) Xavier Smith, (Darlington), Kierra Smith, Brandon (T’nia)  Hudson (Florence), Vanobia Miller (Salters),  godchildren: Martine (Maurice) Smith, Jacksonville, Fl., Audrey Bowdin (Florence).  Charles was loved by his brothers and sisters who shared his life in such joyous ways. Allen Smith (Anderson, SC) Donald (Margie) Smith (Florence) his sisters: Anna Lee Townsville (PA), Deloris Smith (Atlanta, GA), Willie Ray (Bobby) Grant and Mary (Edward) James (Florence), and by a host of other family members and friends.

The family will receive friends at the home, 1719 Norwood Lane, Florence.

Please keep the family of Charles Smith in your thoughts and prayers .

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charles Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Omega Services

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

6:30 - 7:30 pm (Eastern time)

Smith's Funeral Home-Florence

307 S Johns St, Florence, SC 29506

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Starts at 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Thursday, August 24, 2023

1:00 - 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

Florence National Cemetery

1001 Stockade Dr., Florence , SC 29505

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1186

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree