Floyd Eugene "Gene" Smith, 97, of Marion passed away on Saturday, January 5, 2019.

Gene was a veteran of WWII, barber, musician, painter, woodworker, and all-around raconteur. He enjoyed a long and happy life wherein he built a loving family, made many friends, knew no strangers, and spread happiness to all who met him. Gene was the longtime owner of Smith's Barbershop on Greasy Corner and was at the time of his retirement in 2007 North Carolina's oldest working barber. For a number of years in the 1950s and 1960s, he was the leader of the Melody Mountain Boys, a band that played at all the schools for the students and at other events throughout western North Carolina. The band also played for two square dance teams and recorded several original songs. He and his wife were instrumental in organizing the Rocky Pass Community Club in the late 1950s. Gene and his wife of 70 years, Inez Vaughn Smith, together taught Sunday school classes at Rocky Pass Free Will Baptist Church. Gene often gave haircuts to the residents of Rocky Pass Rest Home.

Gene was the son of the late William Hubert "Hub" and Etta West Smith. He was preceded in death by his wife, Inez, son Rick Smith, and nine siblings. He is survived by daughter Marie Smith Seagle (Harold), Bill Smith (Yvonne), and Brenda Smith Franklin (Larry); one sister, Pat Smith Elliott (Doug); seven grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, two step-great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Mary Smith; and brother-in-law Bill Wyatt. He will be missed by close friends Penny Yearwood and Pat Davis.

The family wishes to extend special thanks to the staff of Autumn Care of Marion who provided loving care in his final years. Services will be held Saturday, January 12, 2019, at noon at Rocky Pass Free Will Baptist Church, with Rev. Philip Tate and Russell Seagle officiating. Family will receive friends at the church from 10:30 to noon.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children's Hospital, a recipient of Gene's faithful monthly donations since 1982. Interment will take place at McDowell Memorial Park following the services.

Beam Funeral Service is assisting the Smith family. For further information and/or to sign the online guestbook, please visit our website,, or call (828) 559-8111.

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