Service Information:May 22nd, 2022 at 02:00 PM
Riverbend Baptist Church
1715 Cleveland Highway Gainesville, GA 30501
Mr. J. Horace Smallwood, 94
J. Horace Smallwood
October 26, 1927 - May 11, 2022
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, May 22, 2022 at Riverbend Church at 2:00 pm. Visitation will follow in the church theater.
Horace (AKA Daddy or J Horace or Papa or Poppy), was born on October 26, 1927 and grew up in a family of 10 children with a single mother. They constantly moved from place to place as sharecroppers. He grew up during The Great Depression. His family struggled financially. This motivated him to never be poor again, so he worked hard to be successful. Because of so much time as a child being without, he held tightly onto his money unless it was to help someone go to school or to loan money to someone to buy a home. He helped so many people through the years.
When he and Sara, his wife of 63 years, moved to the Riverbend area in 1956, he worked until he was able to own his own business. He owned Riverbend Standard Service Station which soon became a place where lots of locals would stop by to just hang out. He later sold the station and started a new business. He was founder and owner of Best Ceramic Tile. His sons worked for him until they followed their own paths. Then his son-in-law worked for him until he eventually took the reins. It is now into its 3rd generation with his son-in-law and grandson being co-owners.
He was involved in many things that his children were also involved in. He was a Trustee for Riverbend Elementary School that hired Dean Myers to his first administration job as principal at Riverbend. He volunteered for many events and was the PTA president for a season.
One that he was very proud of was being on the Board of Directors for Hall County Park and Rec. During his tenure, the Board acquired the land and oversaw the building of Laurel Park.
He enjoyed working with youth football and was a coach for many Riverbend teams in the 1960’s when elementary school went through 8th grade. As his sons went on to North Hall, Horace along with his great friends Leroy Truelove and Eddie Fields started the first football booster club at North Hall High School and were the donors of the original field house. He loved watching North Hall sports and continued attending games in all sports, up until just a few years ago, to watch his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and other young people who meant so much to him.
Because he thought education was so important, Horace helped several young people with college tuition. He had to quit school at a young age because of family needs during the war. He then served in the Army in WW2. He did work to get his GED; however, one of his biggest regrets was not graduating.
In 2016, Will Schofield, Superintendent of Hall County Schools, heard Horace and 2 of his brothers speak of quitting school and going to war. Mr. Schofield then put in motion a graduation ceremony for the 3 brothers along with a few more men who quit to serve. That was one of Horace’s proudest days.
Horace was proud to be a veteran of World War II. He served in the Army. He was often seen proudly wearing his hat that showed he was a Veteran and was very active at the American Legion Post 7. He and his 2 brothers, John and Howell, were seen in many Memorial Day parades. Their last hoorah was when they were Grand Marshalls of the 4th of July Parade in Braselton in 2019. John passed soon after that, and then Howell. Horace missed all of his siblings but especially those 2 whom he saw often.
He prayed to receive Jesus as Lord of his life on January 14, 2012 with his wife Sara present. She had prayed for him for over 60 years and was able to witness this before her passing. Now Horace is looking at the beautiful face of Jesus.
We can’t forget golf. Horace was an avid golfer. He was proud to have had 7 holes-in-one throughout his golf life. He made many friends playing golf. He was able to play and shoot his age well into his 80’s. He enjoyed many golf courses but especially loved the friends he had in Blairsville.
For the last several years, Horace could be found 2-3 days a week at the North Hall Community Center. He made so many friends who visited with him during his last days. Thank you, Elsa, for making him feel so special.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Sara Propes Smallwood; his mother, Era Helton Smallwood; his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Gertrude and Paul Propes; his first born grandson, Jason Scott Smallwood; his brothers and their wives, TJ (Nellie Mae) Smallwood, John Smallwood, Howell (Brownie) Smallwood, and Charles Smallwood; his sisters and their husbands, Texie Mae (Reliford)Clark, Jessie Smallwood, and Janet (Harold) Wiley; his brothers-in-law Paul Propes, Jr. (Eloise), Louis Propes, Earl Brookshire and many friends.
He is survived by his sons, James (Connie) Smallwood of Griffin and Darryl (Janice) Smallwood of Gainesville; his daughters, Kathy (Scott) Head of Gainesville and Stacey (Andy) Covey of Braselton; his grandchildren, Brooke Smallwood, Liz Smallwood, Anna Smallwood, Megan (Michael) Scoggins, Michael (Majenta) Head, Drew Covey, and Caroline Smallwood; his great granddaughters, Bentley, Kennedy, and Lilly; his sisters, Nell Brookshire of Tampa and Almeda (Bill) Allison of Gainesville; his sisters-in-law, Wilma Propes and Cleta Smallwood; his brother-in-law, Harry (Connie) Propes; his neighbors and guardian angels, Kevin and Myra Patterson; his friend and companion, Roberta Miller; many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, cousins, and many friends.
He was always grateful to those of you who stopped in for a visit. He loved your company.
The family would like to thank the nursing staff at NEGA Medical Center who took such remarkable care of Horace. His last days were filled with such love and care.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity or to either of Horace’s 2 favorite charities: Riverbend Church, 1715 Cleveland Hwy or to Meals on Wheels.
Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel 989 Riverside Drive Gainesville, Georgia is in charge of arrangements. For online condolences www.memorialparkfuneralhomes.com