Remembering Martin Smith
Published 7:00 am Saturday, February 28, 2015
Long-time city of Poplarville attorney and Pearl River Community College Board of Trustees attorney Martin T. Smith died in his home Thursday.
Smith was 80-years-old.
According to a PRCC press release, Smith attended high school on the Pearl River Junior College campus and graduated in 1954. He earned a bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi in 1958. Upon returning to Poplarville, Martin opened a general law practice.
From 1968 to 1988, Smith represented Pearl River County in the Mississippi Senate and was the first administrative director of the Administrative Office of Courts from 1993 to 1997, the release stated.
For 30 years, Smith served as the attorney for the PRCC Board of Trustees and as attorney for the city of Poplarville for the past 24 years, the release stated.
Poplarville Mayor Brad Necaise said Thursday was a very sad day for the city.
“Describing Martin would be like trying to describe the Grand Canyon with the palm of your hand. He was a great leader and provided a wealth of knowledge,” Necaise said. “No matter what time of the day, he always answered his phone to discuss city business; that’s just the way he was.”
Former colleague and Picayune municipal judge G. Gerald Cruthird said Martin was not only a personal friend but a mentor as well.
“He mentored me when I began my practice in 1977,” Cruthird said. “I practiced law with him as an associate and law partner for 16 years. I remember him being an old style southern gentleman who had a huge heart for people and a willingness to serve the public within his considerable abilities. I remember how gentle and patient he was with his clients and constituents. He will be sorely missed.”
Pearl River Central School District Superintendent Alan Lumpkin served with Martin on the PRCC Board of Trustees and said the Wildcat family has lost a man of great integrity.
“He represented our school board professionally throughout all the business that we dealt with as a board,” Lumpkin said.
In a release, PRCC president Dr. William Lewis said Smith served PRCC, the community and the state in an exceptional manner.
“He leaves a mark of distinction on his career as an attorney, as a politician, but more importantly as an advocate for Pearl River Community College and the city of Poplarville. He was a special person who always stood for what was right and he tried to make things better for those who needed his help. Few, if any, public servants have served the citizens of south Mississippi in the sincere and dedicated manner in which Martin Smith’s legacy will reflect. Our college and our community have lost a great friend.”
Smith is survived by his wife, Dolores; son, Martin and three grandsons.
View Martin’s obituary and sign the guest book on the White Funeral Home’s website at http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=Martin-Smith&lc=4991&pid=174269532&mid=6341494.