Willie Melvin Smith Jr.

Willie Melvin Smith Jr.

Suffolk, VA
06.14.1936 - 05.01.2017
North Carolina

Willie Melvin Smith, Jr. went to be with the Lord on May 1, 2017 surrounded by his family at Sentara Norfolk General. He was the son of the late Annie Sue and Willie Melvin Smith Sr.

Melvin was the longest serving member of the Nansemond Suffolk Volunteer Rescue Squad serving 56 years. He served over 20 years as President and he was one of the first Advanced Life Support Providers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He worked for Ford all his life working with various dealerships, most recently for Cavalier Ford, as their outside sale representative for parts.

Melvin is survived by his wife Leola Pearce Smith; daughters Arlene Smith, Lisa Tarkington and husband Steve Tarkington, Jr; grandchildren Tori Tarkington and Ginger Tarkington; brother Earl Carter Smith and wife Glenda all of Suffolk; several nieces and nephews; brother-in-law Gregory Pearce and wife Hazel; and special friends Rusty Hundley and Rusty Blow.

A funeral service will be conducted on Thursday, at 11 AM at Bethlehem Christian Church, 1549 Holland Road, Suffolk VA 23434 by the Rev. Matt Winters. The burial will follow at Holly Lawn Cemetery with honors from the US Army, Fire and Rescue. The family will receive friends in the R. W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home and Crematory, 509 W. Washington St. Suffolk VA 23434 on Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 PM.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Nansemond-Suffolk Rescue Squad, PO Box 1515, Suffolk, VA 23439. Condolences may be registered at RWBakerFH.com

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Bethlehem Christian Church
1549 Holland Rd
Suffolk, VA 23434
United States

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R.W. Baker & Co.
509 W. Washington St.
Suffolk, VA 23434
United States

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Holly Lawn Cemetery
1525 Main Street
Suffolk, VA 23434
United States


Arlene and family. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Your dad was such a sweet and wonderful man. He will be missed. May God give you all comfort in this difficult time.

Teresa L. Rose

Lisa and family, so sorry for your loss. Everytime I saw him he was always smiling and calling me "young lady". My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Vicki Prescott

Melvin was a fine man, and I enjoyed knowing and doing rescue squad business with him for many years. He gave freely to others and his community, and he will be missed. My sincere condolences and prayers for his family.
John McNulty

John McNulty

He will missed by all who had the honor to work with him through out the years. I was very fortunate to have gotten to work with Melvin he was a great EMS professional and work friend. Rest easy my friend.

John LaClair

Arlene and family. I am so sorry for your loss he was a wonderful man the few years I worked with him on the rescue squad he taught me a lot . He was a very compassionate and caring man. He will be greatly missed. My prayers go out to you all.

Stacey Copeland



Melvin was a true citizen. He put back into the Suffolk community like no other! I enjoyed working with him in the squad! He worked with the Jr. squad members and helped educate and encourage us along the way! I know my father had high praise for Melvin. He will be missed! My prayers to all of his family !

Skip Bangley

Melvin was a mentor, leader, teacher and friend to hundreds of young people who walked into the doors of Nansemond Suffolk Rescue Squad. Countless successful careers were launched due to his loving counsel. Thousands of peoples who needed help on their worst of days had the opportunity to meet Melvin and most did not even know his name. Melvin once said "There are only two heroes, sub sandwiches and Jesus Christ." I have always respected and valued Melvin's words wisdom... except that statement, Melvin Smith a hero to countless people. Rest in peace my friend and hero.

Billy Eubanks

Melvin was the kindest man I ever knew. He always came to work with a smile on his face and worked circles around us "young bucks". He could also tell you story after story about things from his past. We are going to miss him dearly. I know that when he went to his eternal home he was told "Well done my good and faithful servant." Rest in the arms of Jesus my friend and I look forward to our meeting again.

Michael Mason

My deepest condolences on your loss. Fond memories of Arlene and her dad from my first year at Forest Glen.

Wanda Griffin Pascucci

The Smith Family, I am so sorry for your loss. I have a lot of memories of Melvin at Ford dealerships. My Dad thought a lot of him. Leola, Arlene and Lisa, may you find comfort in knowing he touched the lives of so many. Prayers to family and friends. RIP my friend. 🙏❤

Kay pop Kinsey

Please accept my condolences on the passing of Melvin. It was an honor to have known such a great person for almost 30 years and I will truly miss him. Every time I saw him he would start off by saying "oh look what the car dragged in" and my response to him was yeah yeah pops whatever and we would hug. He was truly a role model for all the things he continued to do all these years. May the love of those around you help you in the coming days and may God embrace and comfort you during this difficult time of bereavement. Love you guys. 🙏🏾❤️

Anthony "Peewee" Wilson

you were are dear friend and coworker always there to help us you will be miss dearly. every morning when you were here I would go see you and we would talk about work and family. love you rest in peace


I served with Melvin in the Rescue Squad from 1967 to 1970, he was a very good man and gained from his wisdom.

Billy Martin

I am sorry to hear of the loss of Melvin. We worked together many years to protect the citizens of this wonderful city. Melvin was someone I could always rely on for honest and positive responses.
Ed Taylor, Retired Deputy Fire Chief Suffolk Fire & Rescue

Ed Taylor

Enjoyed working with Melvin over the years. His many contributions will live on through the many lives he inspired, taught and mentored.

John E. Peters

Melvin was an outstanding and dedicated volunteer. I will miss him dearly at the D2 meetings.
To the Smith family our EMS FAMILY thank you for allowing him to be part of us and know that as you grieve so do we. We will forever keep you all in our prayers.

Steve White. President
Stony Creek Volunteer Rescue Squad

Steve White

Dear Family,
On behalf of the City of Suffolk Treasurer's Office, I want to extend to you our sincerest sympathy on the loss of Melvin. We will cherish many fond memories of him. He was a wonderful man to know, and I know that he will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time.
Ronald H. Williams, City Treasurer and Office Staff

Ron Williams

Arlene and Lisa, I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for comfort for you and your family.

Lois Vann Davis

Please accept my sympathy with the passing of Melvin. Melvin you will be missed! I will miss swapping stories with a good friend. He was always my go-to parts guy at Cavalier Ford. I first met Melvin in 1980 when I started as a service writer for an Exxon Car Care center. When he found out we were servicing some of the squads at the beach and around town, he asked how he could help get us started with a Ford Discount to save the squads some money. Always looking out for everyone. He would always ask how I was getting along, no matter what was ailing him. I will miss you my "friend".
Tom Kelley

Thomas Kelley

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