Local News

Clinton man celebrates 109th birthday

Posted August 8

— Some might call it lucky while others may want to know his secret, but Razzie Smith and his family said celebrating his 109th birthday is nothing short of a miracle.

Smith was born in Sampson County in 1908 and currently lives in Clinton with his daughter, Pearl.

Smith married his wife, Annie Cooper Smith, on March 5, 1930, and they stayed together until her 2011 death at age 99. Together, they had 11 children and raised one of their grandchildren.

Family members said Smith has several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

“Long life is a blessing and the reason why he’s here, I can only attribute to God,” said Smith’s daughter Annie Smith.

Smith had no formal education and left school after third grade. He would frequently travel to other states to find available work and held jobs as a farmer, saw mill worker and nursing home employee before working as a landscaper for 25 years. He retired from work at age 98.

At times, Smith earned as little as five cents per hour.

“One thing we did learn was to work and if you lived here, you were going to work. We’ve never been hungry, never seen a day where we didn’t have cover over our heads. We always had a place where we could call home,” Annie Smith said.

Smith continues to be an usher and deacon at the Union Star Freewill Church and only stopped driving in 2007 because the drivers’ license office was closed when he went to renew his license.

Smith said one of his earliest memories was when he and his family saw an airplane for the first time and hid inside a tobacco barn because they didn’t know what it was.

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  • Robin Duff Aug 8, 6:02 p.m.
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    Happy Birthday, sir!