KENANSVILLE — Official sources confirmed for the Duplin Times that former N.C. District Court Judge and Kenansville Lawyer Timothy Smith died Sept. 14. He was 61.
“Tim was a wealth of knowledge and experience,” said District Attorney Ernie Lee, who had know Smith for several years. “He seemingly never met a stranger and he always made time to speak no matter how busy he was. Tim was not afraid to take on challenging cases and he was formidable in court. But Tim always remained Tim, who despite the adversarial issues that we all face in contested cases, Tim would be approachable and polite. He will be missed.”
Smith was born and raised in Duplin County and was well-regarded in the community. He graduated from East Duplin High School in 1978 and earned a bachelor’s degree in business from East Carolina University and his Juris Doctorate from Campbell University in 1986.
According to the North Carolina Bar Association, Smith spent much of his early career as a solo practitioner but also served as an associate and as a partner with several law firms.
Smith was very active in the Duplin community and served in many public roles, including county commissioner from 2010-2014, county attorney and city attorney for Beulaville. Smith was a senior member of the North Carolina Bar Association and member of North Carolina Advocates for Justice. He was inducted to the NCBA Senior Lawyers Division Legal Practice Hall of Fame in 2019 and served as deacon at Smith Presbyterian Church in Beulaville.
He was appointed to the Fourth Judicial District bench by Gov. Roy Cooper in April 2019.
In June 2020, Smith resigned his judicial seat with only six months remaining in his term.
Smith leaves behind his wife, Jill, two children, a sister, a step son, three grandchildren and an extended family.
“Words can’t help but fall short of what Tim meant to me. We were partners early on and through college. He was the best friend a man could ask for,” read a statement from Timothy G. Williams of Carolina Beach on Smith’s CFH obituary guest book.
The funeral service took place Saturday, Sept. 18 at Community Funeral Home of Beulaville.