ROCK HILL -- Mr. Lee Galphin Smoak Jr. of 1330 India Hook Road, Rock Hill, passed away on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.
Mr. Smoak was the son of the late Lee Galphin Smoak Sr. and the late Emily Hungerpiller Smoak of Orangeburg, and was the widower of Lydia Ardrey Smoak, who passed away in 2016. Mr. Smoak was 93 years old, born on July 25, 1925, in Orangeburg. He was educated in the Orangeburg city schools and was a graduate of The Citadel in Charleston, from the class of 1948 with a bachelor of science degree in business administration.
During his sophomore year at The Citadel, he was drafted into the Army in December 1943. He served more than 2-1 years in the China-Burma-India Theater of operations during World War II. He entered the service as a private and rose to the rank of first lieutenant, serving in the Army Reserves for a short time following the war. Among his awards were the Combat Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Ribbon with four battle stars, and the Good Conduct Medal. Following his military service, he returned to The Citadel to complete his education.
During his working career, he was associated with Dan River Mills, Deering Milliken and Co., The Terrell Machine Company and Schlafhorst Inc. in Charlotte. During the early 1970s, he and his wife, Lydia, were among the founding charter members of Sharon Baptist Church in Charlotte. He served several terms as deacon chairman and was a member of the board of trustees.
He retired in 1991 and moved to Rock Hill in 1998. Mr. Smoak was very active in the Rock Hill Citadel Club, the Kiwanis Club of Rock Hill, and Westminster Presbyterian Church, where he served as a deacon. He was an avid Citadel supporter and, over the past years, he recruited more than 65 young cadets to attend The Citadel. During the past few years, he mentored a number of cadets and was adopted as their “surrogate grandfather.” He continued to be their mentor after graduation along with several members of the Armed Forces.
Mr. Smoak is survived by his sons, William Lee Smoak and wife Julie of Charlotte, N.C., and Dr. Charles Kelly Smoak and wife Beth of Fort Mill; his grandchildren whom he adored, Grace, Kathryn, Caroline, William, Margaret and Jonathan.
Celebration of life service will be Saturday, March 16, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1320 India Hook Road, Rock Hill, with the Rev. Dr. Shelton Sandford III and the Rev. Dr. Mike Honeycutt officiating. Visitation with the family and friends will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, at Greene Funeral Home Northwest Chapel, 2133 Ebenezer Road, Rock Hill, and following the service on Saturday in the Anne Burns Sandford Parlor at the church. Burial will be private with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lee G. Smoak Jr. Scholarship Fund at The Citadel Education Foundation, 171 Moultrie St., Charleston, SC 29409.