Rachel Smith, 82, co-founder of E. Smith Heating and Air Conditioning, passed away Sunday, May 8, 2016. She was born in Danielsville, Georgia and moved to Atlanta after high school graduation and secretarial school. She worked in accounting at Sears and Roebuck and lived in a boarding house in Virginia Highlands where she met her future husband, Earl Smith. They married August 15, 1953, and moved from Forest Park to what was then rural Marietta, Georgia in 1961.
Rachel and Earl founded E. Smith Heating and Air Conditioning in 1962, with Rachel being the first employee while Earl completed work at Bryant Atlanta Corporation. She handled the phones and all accounting during the company’s infancy and continued to work at E. Smith her entire life. She did the collections for most of those years, and she was very, very good at that!
She was a charter member of Eastside Baptist Church, where she was an active member of the church and in Sunday school. She was an avid gardener, amazing cook, and a gracious hostess at many gatherings at her home over the years.
Rachel was active in the community, often behind the scenes finding auction items or volunteering. She was a strong supporter of the Calvary Children’s Home and the Earl Smith Strand Theatre along with many other worthwhile organizations.
She battled bile duct cancer as she did everything in her life with mental, physical and spiritual strength. She is sorely missed but has left a legacy for her husband, children, grandchildren, and her friends at E. Smith of love and strength…we all want to be more like her.
By Debbie Smith Abernathy, daughter