History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

Smith Funeral Service & Crematory was established in 2011 under the capable leadership of founding owner, Justin R. Smith. It is the mission of Smith Funeral Service & Crematory to provide professional service and personal care to the needs of bereaved families and to offer meaningful ways to celebrate and memorialize a life lived. We welcome the opportunity to care for you and your family.

Our Valued Staff

Justin  Smith

Justin Smith, Owner/Funeral Director and Embalmer

Justin has been a funeral service professional for over 20 years. He began his career path early in funeral service, at the age of 16. Just four years later he received his license, and since that time he has served many families, assisted colleagues, and trained other aspiring directors toward achieving their goals.

"I feel humbled to serve families in the community at a very painful time in their lives. Although the grief of losing a loved one cannot be completely solaced, I am grateful to offer professional service and personal care, making this difficult experience as easy as it can possibly be."

Justin grew up in the small community of Shelmerdine in southern Pitt County, where Christian principles and life values were instilled. "I owe a debt of gratitude to my parents, Jeff and Jennifer Smith, and to my grandparents, the late Walter Lee, Jr. and Josephine Smith, and to Jimmy and Jackie Moore, for their devotion to my upbringing. My younger brother, Jared, is a stylist in Chapel Hill. He married his wife Rhapsody in 2005, who is a Neonatal ICU Nurse at Vidant Medical Center and also a clinical instructor for Pitt Community College's School of Nursing.

Justin and Rhapsody have three beautiful children, Kylah, Karsten, and Kendall, who are the joy of their lives. The family pet is an English Springer Spaniel, “Tater.” Justin presently serves as an usher in his local church, Faith Assembly of God, and a member of Gideons International and the Rams Neuse Lions Club. He is also the former Chairman of the Executive Board for the Pitt Community College Alumni Association and enjoys spending time with his family, fishing, hunting and watching racing.

Dr. Wayne  Flora

Dr. Wayne Flora, Funeral Director & Staff Chaplain

Wayne comes to Smith Funeral Service & Crematory from a pastoral background. He has served as Youth and Christian Education Director in two prior settings, and is the founding pastor of 26 years of the University Church of God in Greenville. He has served on North Carolina's Ministerial Development Board since 1992, and has been State Coordinator of the Ministerial Internship Program for 13 years.

"One of my greatest gifts is the gift of encouragement, especially in times of crisis. The grace of personal comfort and biblical counsel is a most rewarding experience for me as I help walk hurting families through the sorrows of death. It is personally gratifying to witness authentic hope and reassurance arise in the hearts of those whose loved one has passed away."

This year he is celebrating 40 years of marriage to his wife, Lou, who he declares, "is my strength and courage." She has served 21 years as Senior Secretary for the Neonatal Nurse Practitioners in the Neonatal ICU at Vidant Medical Center and currently is a Senior Secretary for Vidant Medical Center's Foundation.

Together they raised two wonderful children, Mitchell Stephen, who has a lovely wife, Amy, and Rhapsody Michelle, who is the wife of Justin Smith. Wayne and Lou are proud of their five grandchildren, Caleb, 15, Hannah, 11, Bethany, 7, Kylah, 7, and Karsten, 4. Family is their first and highest model of authentic, caring ministry.

Wayne is presently a member of the Church of God International Board of Education and adjunct professor of the Internet Degree Program at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee.

In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his beloved family.

Jim Stroud

Jim Stroud

Rhapsody Smith

Rhapsody Smith, Office Manager

Jeffery  Smith

Jeffery Smith, Funeral Assistant and Maintenance

Jeffery came to funeral service to work side-by-side with his son. "I am very proud to assist my son in his career service to the community. Because I know the nature and character of his work, I am grateful to be a part of a service that helps others in a professional and personal way."

Thirty-five years ago, Jeffery married his high school sweetheart, Jennifer Moore. Together they raised two sons, Justin and Jared. "Our daughter-in-law, Rhapsody, is like a daughter to us, and we adore our grandchildren, Kylah and Karsten. The family is the center of my life."

This family is complemented nicely by Jeffery and Jennifer's two dogs, Jackson and Chance. They attend University Church of God, where he is a member of the Men of Action-Men’s Ministry and plays the drums. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing, watching NASCAR, and building.

Ernest Bowen

Ernest Bowen, Funeral Assistant

Ernest grew up in the Ormondville community in Greene County. He retired from Collins & Aikman in Farmville after 41 years. He and his wife Carolyn live in Ayden and are members of Berean Baptist Church. They have one daughter, one grandchild and one great grandchild. Ernest has worked in the funeral industry for over 10 years and has been apart of Smith Funeral Service since 2015.

Eddie Drake

Eddie Drake, Funeral Assistant

Eddie is a lifelong resident of Pinetops N.C. He retired from ABB Inc. as a Quality Specialist and a supplier auditor after 40 years of service in 2018. He is still on the Pinetops planning board, Pinetops Fire Department, a Deacon, Sunday School Director, and a member of the Pinetops Baptist Church. Eddie was one of the first part-time employees of Smith Funeral Service.

Eddie has been married for 40 years to his beautiful wife Rita Flora Drake. She is a retired public school teacher and the biggest encourager in his life. Their family includes: a son, Brandon Drake, his wife Amanda Drake, a grandson, Lucas Drake and a granddaughter Chandler Drake. They also have a daughter, Leslie Drake Hawkins, her husband Bobby Hawkins, and a granddaughter, Kaylin Hawkins.

In his spare time, he enjoys going to the beach with his family, surf fishing, playing golf, going on cruises, gardening, and playing with his grandchildren.

Woodrow Gaddy

Woodrow Gaddy, Funeral Assistant

Patrick Haddock

Patrick Haddock, Funeral Assistant

Hilton Nichols

Hilton Nichols, Funeral Assistant

Hilton is a lifelong resident of Greenville and served in the US Army during the Korean War. He retired from Greenville Utilities as a line foreman after 30 years and later worked as a self employed electrician for 25 years. Hilton was one of the first employees of Smith Funeral Service.

Hilton was married 43 years to the late Mary Lou Taylor Nichols where they enjoyed camping and spending time at Emerald Isle. He still loves to build and go to bluegrass concerts. Hilton is a founding member of the “Empalas”, a country western rock band who toured locally from 1970 until the late 1990s. He now attends University Church of God.

Stewart Paramore

Stewart Paramore, Funeral Assistant

Rev. Willie Sumerlin

Rev. Willie Sumerlin, Funeral Assistant

Willie grew up in Greenville and has been a Pastor for over 40 years, living in various places. He and his wife Ann live in Simpson and are members of Heritage FWB Church. Willie and his wife have two children, four grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Willie has worked for Smith Funeral Service since 2013.