Lorenzo “LD” Smith passed away peacefully on January 4, 2021, surrounded by the love of family and friends. He is survived by his daughters Norma Ann Raynor (Nicholas R. Raynor) and Katherine Smith, and beloved granddaughter, Emma Stacy Payseur. He is also survived by his sister, Merle “Chook” Lea, and dozens of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
LD is preceded in death by his beautiful wife and mother of his children, Stacy Dodge Smith, his mother Virginia Davis Smith, his father William Ramp Smith, his sisters Norma Reeves and Celia Medford, and his brothers William Ramp Smith Jr., Joseph (J.J.) Smith, Carson Henry Smith, Sr., Tommy Smith, Bobby Smith, Dr. Marion Smith, Ronnie Smith and Jerry (Burns) Smith.
LD was born and raised in Hampstead with his 11 siblings and was very proud of his hometown roots. He played basketball and baseball for the Topsail Pirates and the local American Legion team, and went on to play for the Seahawks at UNC-Wilmington. During the late 1960’s, LD joined the Navy and served in the Mediterranean on Admiral John McCain’s ship, playing basketball for both the US team and a local Italian team. He proudly talked about not only playing basketball on an aircraft carrier, but also in 11 different countries. After his service, he came back to Hampstead to raise a family in the place that he loved.
Known by many for his generosity, LD believed in giving back to his community. Sometimes that meant helping a friend in need, and other times it came through in his gregarious ability to share his love for Topsail with total strangers or fellow volunteers at the Spot Festival. Always an advocate for his community, LD also served on the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission, using his background in Marine Biology to help preserve our beautiful beaches and coastline. He treated every person he encountered as if they were an old friend. Whether it was teaching a child how to fish off the docks at Seafood World or making faces to distract a crying toddler in a crowded restaurant, LD had the ability to make anyone feel special in the blink of an eye.
Always the supportive Dad, LD mindfully took the time to tell his daughters how proud he was of them throughout their lives, and was happy to share his joy with just about anyone who would listen. This joy is not limited to stories about how fast he could throw a fastball, but also how his daughters and granddaughter all ate fish as their first solid food, and myriad anecdotes about the colorful characters one may encounter over the years in the fish business. LD’s love of family and people is a value that he embodied throughout his life in many ways, and that legacy lives on in his children and grandchildren.
Due to the pandemic, we are not having a service at this time. We hope to gather at a later date to celebrate Dad’s life with family and friends. Donations in his honor may be made to the Historical Society of Topsail Island, at http://topsailhistoricalsociety.org/donate/, or to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center at https://www.seaturtlehospital.org/.
Professional services have been entrusted with Hope Valley Hawkins.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lorenzo Dow Smith, please visit our floral store.