Willie Lee Smith was born on August 11, 1946 in Mississippi to Herman and Willie Smith.
He moved to North Carolina at the age of 13 as a migrant worker. He worked at Maysville Milling Company for a number of years as a truck driver. In 1978, he married Vera Ward and to this union one daughter was born. He joined Mt. Olive Christian Church under the leadership of Rev. H.O. Simmons and served as a faithful member until his health declined. He later moved to Brook Stone Nursing Center in Pollocksville, NC, where he resided until his death.
Willie had one daughter, Beverly Bryant and two grandsons, Antonio Ward and Joseph Jackson Jr. who preceded him in passing.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of 38 years, Vera Smith of Maysville, NC; three daughters, Faith Lowe (Bobby) of Greensboro, NC, Eywania Jackson of San Pablo, CA, and Hope Dudley (Russell) of Jacksonville, NC; one son, Brian Ward (Kristy) of Maysville, NC; nine grandchildren, Jayla, Trey, Evangelia, Nikita, Emmanuel, Requce, Requsa, Jonthan, and Jasmine; one foster brother, Melvin Moore; two foster sisters, Dianne Moore and Cathy Moore; two sister-in-law's; one brother-in-law; a host of nieces, nephews, friends, and one special friend and roommate Mr. Ernest Chapman.