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1939 John Henry 2024

John Henry Smith

March 12, 1939 — April 8, 2024


After a lengthy health battle, John Henry Smith, 85, of Brighton, TN, was welcomed into Heaven on Monday, April 8, 2024 by his parents, older sisters and younger brother. Family was an important part of his life, and those closest to him called him “Bub.” Born March 12, 1939, he was the fifth child out of eleven and had nine sisters and a brother. When John Henry was 15, his father passed away unexpectedly, so he became the man of the house. He was raised on a farm where he developed a strong work ethic, and despite money being scarce, food was plentiful. The love from his tight-knit family was immeasurable - and still is. 

Growing up, his sisters spoiled him and argued over who would shine his shoes and wash his car. In his younger life, he carpooled to work in Memphis at Willard Battery which became ESB and Exide. On the side, he was a cotton and soybean farmer. When the factory closed, he went to work with his father-in-law at Brighton Lumber Co. and learned about construction. His job before retirement was serving as the building inspector for Tipton County where his reputation was "by the books," tough but fair. 

In 1962, he married Carolyn Cullum who shared his passion for the outdoors, and they had one daughter, Susan. Throughout his life, John Henry (with Carolyn by his side) worked tirelessly in his yard, raised cows and horses and cultivated a vegetable garden. He raised some of the best tomatoes ever consumed and fed half of Tipton County from his rows of corn, peas and butterbeans. His second love, after his family, was his John Deere tractor, and his favorite place to be was in the garden or the cow pasture on his tractor. John Henry rode registered quarter horses and competed in horse shows until his health started declining. In his younger years, he was a member of the Dacus Riding Club drill team. 

Sports have always been a big part of his life. He played basketball at Brighton High School and was a big fan of Duke basketball. When his daughter was growing up, he rarely missed a softball game or Rosemark Academy football or basketball game when she was a cheerleader. He was always supportive and encouraging of anything Susan did. If she cooked, he proclaimed the dish to be "better 'n' snuff" and his final words to her just a few days ago were, "Don't worry about it." John Henry always carried a pocket knife, a $100 bill "for emergencies" and could fix most anything. He never turned down a bowl of ice cream, unless it was chocolate. His quiet nature, loving heart and sense of humor will be missed. 

In addition to his wife of 61 years, Carolyn, and daughter, Susan, those who will cherish their memories with him include his son-in-law, Eric Epperson of Germantown; grandchildren, John Phillip "Jake" Epperson and Kathryn Claire Epperson; sisters - Jeanette Daniel (Richard) of Slocomb, AL, Florence Gadomski (Dick) of Germantown, Sarah Bringle of Covington, Mary Laxton (Sammy) of Brighton, June Jones (Doug) of Dandridge, TN; sister-in-law Bonnie Smith of Covington, and brother-in-law Buddy Cullum (Marie Russell) who he considered more like a brother. 

Preceding him in death are his parents Henry and Evie Smith; sisters and brothers-in-law - Evelyn (Hamilton) Poag, Doris (Harry) Sanders, Jane (Melvin) Stroud, Joan (Paul) Erwin, Bud Bringle; and brother Walter Smith. 

Visitation for friends and family will be held on Friday, April 12 from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at Covington Funeral Home with funeral services at 3 p.m. Interment will follow the service in Helen Crigger Cemetery in Munford.  The family wishes to thank Amedisys Hospice and Home Health for their care and compassion.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, April 12, 2024

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, April 12, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

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