Craig Smith

George Craig Smith

George “Craig” Smith

The Smith family and community lost a very important person on Dec. 16.

George “Craig” Smith was born April 17, 1952, in Conway to the late James Conley “J.C.” Smith and Betty Cox Smith.

Craig, affectionately known as “Papa”, leaves behind a beloved wife of 43 years, Vicki Thompson Smith; his son, Christopher Smith and his wife Ashley; his daughter, Kimberly Smith; and granddaughter, Ellison Grace Fortner. Papa’s brother, Michael Smith and his wife Janet; sister-in-law, Sonia Cargill and her husband Todd; mother-in-law, Billie Thompson; bonus brothers, Keith Herring and his wife Marsha and Monty Graham. Papa also leaves behind special nieces, nephews and extended family.

Papa was a successful entrepreneur and has been building businesses in Conway for decades, including Shoe City, City Athletics and, most recently, Papa’s General Store. He had many passions and was planning to travel with his wife to as many Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood concerts as possible.

To us, and to all who knew him, Papa was a compassionate, selfless man who loved his family, friends and patrons with complete abandon. He was a friend and was loved by so many. He honored his hometown of Conway and always sought to share and preserve its rich history.

Our hearts and spirits are broken, but we know he will be watching over us as we continue to honor his legacy. Rest In Peace, Papa.

The family will hold a private ceremony. If you would like to make a charitable donation to one of the many causes he supported remember North Conway Baptist Church (1608 Sessions St., Conway, SC 29526); Anderson Oaks Building Fund (c/o Anderson Oaks, 996 S.C. 90, Conway, SC, 29526); and WES Foundation (1227 16th Ave., Ste. 198, Conway, SC 29526)

Please sign the online guestbook at

Goldfinch Funeral Home, Conway chapel is serving the family.

I'm the editor of the Horry Independent, a weekly newspaper in Conway, South Carolina. I cover city hall and courts, among many other subjects. Know of a good story? Call me at 843-488-7241.

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