Former Lejeune, Northside AD Mike Smith passes away

Smith, a former Athletic Director at Lejeune and Northside high schools, passed away Saturday night. He was 81.

Gary Michael “Mike” Smith, 81, passed away on January 27, 2024. As a USMC Marine “brat,” he had many residences, but Jacksonville was undoubtedly his home, and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where family roots were deep. He initially arrived in Jacksonville as a student at Lejeune High School, and subsequently earned his commission, following family tradition, upon graduation from Presbyterian College. While serving his country in Vietnam as an infantry captain with Golf 2/7, he sustained several injuries. Despite efforts to remain in the Corps, he was medically discharged. Mike remained in Jacksonville, serving for 43 years as a teacher, coach, and athletic director at both Lejeune High School and Northside High Schools. His relentless, humble support of local athletes spanned his lifetime. Upon his third retirement, he and retired Marine war dog, Corporal Cody, visited hospitals, organizations, and especially focused on the welfare of his beloved Marines. Despite numerous awards, Mike’s humility and commitment to selfless service would influence and stand as his trademark characteristic for generations of family, countless friends, Marines, students, and athletes. His continuing legacy is the immeasurable number of people he impacted, who were stationed globally, due to the transient nature of Marines.

His surviving family includes his sister, Nancy and husband Bob; brother, Pat and wife Laura; son, Kevin and wife Renee; and son, Scott and wife Sonya; six-grandchildren, (Christopher and wife Danielle, Caleb, Sarah and husband Robinson, Lydia, Anna and Josh); two great-grandchildren, (Leah and Alexa); and many cousins, nieces and nephews. His extensive and extended family remains a grieving community, as we strive to emulate his examples of humility and service to others.

The family will receive visitors on Sunday, February 4, from 3:00 – 5:00 PM, at Jones Funeral Home, Jacksonville. Graveside funeral services, with military honors, will follow on Feb 5, at 1200, at Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery, Camp Johnson.

In lieu of flowers, please contribute in Mike’s honor to one of his long-standing causes: St Jude’s, Shriners Hospital for Children, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, military canines (U.S. War Dog Association), or to medical issues which negatively impacted his life: Essential Tremor research, diabetes and heart failure.

Link for obituary