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Richard B. Smallwood

Mr. Richard B. Smallwood age 55 of Lebanon passed away October 17, 2020.

He was born in Wilson County, Tennessee, son of the late Felix and Betty Walls Smallwood.  He was a 1983 graduate of Friendship Christian School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Education from Cumberland University, his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Middle Tennessee State University and his “plus thirty” in Curriculum and Instruction from Tennessee State University.  He was a member of First United Methodist Church.  He taught at Castle Heights Elementary and Walter J. Baird, as well as serving as a Dean at Lavergne Middle School. He moved to Wilson County Schools where he served as an Assistant Principal at Carroll Oakland and a Principal at Southside Schools, as well as the attendance liaison between the school district and the juvenile court system.  In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his father-in-law, Cecil Williamson.

He is survived by his wife of thirty-five years, Gina Williamson Smallwood; two daughters:  Layla Smallwood (Jared Gabrielle), Anna Smallwood; brother, Charles Smallwood; sister, Catherine S. Chinkers; mother-in-law, Annie Williamson; several nieces and nephews.

Private graveside services will be held Tuesday, October 20, 2020, at Cedar Grove Cemetery with Rev. Ryan Bennett officiating.  There will be a public celebration of Richard’s life at a later date.  You are encouraged to leave online condolences at www.ligonbobo.com

Active pallbearers: Ronnie Hawkins, Bruce Cable, Craig Offutt, Clint Dennison, Rick Miller, and Earl Coggins

Honorary Pallbearers: Richards’s Southside, Carroll Oakland, and Attendance Office friends as well as his December hiking group.

Richard’s colleagues have established a scholarship fund for his two girls to complete their education. To donate, please contact Wilson Bank & Trust.

LIGON & BOBO FUNERAL HOME, in charge of arrangements.

Messages for the Family

  1. Courtney & Tim Halbert says:
    Gina we are keeping you and all your family in our prayers!
  2. Candace Reed says:
    Gina, Layla, and Anna—I am so sorry. Richard was a great man and I know he loved you all dearly. Sending love and prayers during this difficult time.
    • Nancy says:
      Gina I am so sorry for your loss. Richard was one someone you would treasure and be bless by knowing and being around him. I had the pleasure and honor of knowing him and traveling many mountain trails with him. He always put joy in my heart and a smile on my face. I will truly miss him. I always call my Big fluffy bear. Praying for you and the girls. He spoke of you often and was so proud to be your husband and the dad to the 2 girls
  3. Kendra and David Erie says:
    So sorry to hear of Richard’s passing. You will be in our prayers
  4. Candy Mcdonald Leeman says:
    Prayers for you all. He was a great man!! He was a great principal and a great friend. I will miss him.
  5. Annette Stafford says:
    Our deepest condolences and prayers
  6. Angela Rohen says:
    A fine colleague, a very fine colleague and loved by the teachers he led over the years. Peace for the family.
  7. Dalydia Cason-Clemons says:
    I am praying for your family. Richard was an amazing person!
  8. Mary Ashby says:
    I am so saddened by the loss of this fine man! My deepest sympathy to the Smallwood family.
  9. Presley Lee (former name Tomlinson) says:
    I was one of his former students I am so sorry about your loss. He was a great man. My condolences go out to everyone of yall. Much love.
  10. Angela Hamock says:
    This saddens me so much! He was always kind to everyone. He loved to laugh. I’ll remember him for these things. He also loved his wife and daughters very much. I know how much he enjoyed time with you all. I’m so sorry for your loss.
  11. Michelle, Shay and Sadie Holt says:
    This truly breaks my heart. Gina, Layla and Anna you will be in our prayers and we are so so very sorry for your loss.
  12. Aly Atchley says:
    Gina, Layla, Anna, & Charles — Geoff & I are praying for you all. Mr. Smallwood was a wonderful Christian man. We are sending you our love! May God comfort you all as only He truly can.
    • Melinda and John Greer says:
      So sorry to hear of your loss. Everyone felt comfortable around him. His smiles will always be remembered. He was a special person and loved by many.
  13. Laurie Green says:
    I am so very sorry for your loss. I have truly been blessed to be working with this fine gentleman over the last year. He will be missed
  14. Brandy Klaers says:
    Dear Mrs. Smallwood and Daughters, your husband and father impacted my life in so many ways. I always felt so loved and cared for when he was my principal and I was going through a rough time. He had such a big heart, but he always had the best sense of humor and could always make everyone laugh. You were so blessed to have him as a father and husband. My life and my daughters’ lives were changed because of him.
  15. Betty baggett says:
    So sorry to hear of your loss. He was a great man and well loved.
  16. Sandra Carney says:
    Richard could always bring laughter and smiles to all he encountered. He was a blessing and will be missed. My prayers and hugs for his “girls.”
  17. Stacey Trai says:
    There are no words to adequately express how much Richard meant to me as a former boss and current friend. Gina, Layla, and Anna, I am so sorry for your loss. He loved you three more than the sun, moon, and stars. There was never a day he didn’t talk about you 3 with such pride. Heaven gained one of the best today!
  18. Anna Raines says:
    I am so saddened by the loss of this wonderful man. He was always there anytime you needed him. I am so blessed to have had the privilege of knowing him. My prayers are with all of you.
  19. Bishop Belita McMurry-Fite says:
    My deepest condolences and prayers to the family. May God Comfort and Strengthen each of you. Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.
  20. Tara And Brian Fowler says:
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to your entire family! We are so saddened by the news and hope and pray God will give all of you strength and comfort!
  21. Angie Cox Riddle says:
    I am soo sorry to hear this. God bless each of you during this time.
  22. Debi Martin says:
    My sincere condolences to the family of this wonderful man that always put a smile on everyone’s face. I truly enjoyed knowing your husband and father working with him at Wilson County Schools . What a fine man. My prayers will be with your family as you go through this most difficult time.
    • Lou Anne Snyder says:
      I just now heard of Richard’s passing. He had the biggest personality of anyone I knew. My deepest sympathy to Gina and daughters. May God uplift you all.
  23. Johanna Siegrist says:
    This is so sad. He was such a kind man.
  24. Faye Agee says:
    I am so truly sorry for your loss. Sending love & prayers to you all..
  25. Tammy Bailey says:
    Mr. Smallwood was an amazing man. He put himself out on a limb caring more about a struggling teen than the politics of the Wilson County School system. His actions probably saved my daughter. Our family will always be in indebted to him for his kindness. Prayers of comfort for his family.
  26. Brenda Manning McFarlin says:
    Gina and girls, so sorry for your loss. Richard was an awesome man, teacher and friend. Love and prayers to you.
  27. Debbie Watts says:
    Gina, Layla, and Anna…. I am so sorry to hear about Richard. He was a sweet man. I will always remember sitting beside you all at Anna and Kayla’s LHS softball games. I’ll bet he and Kayla’s grandfather, Jodie Beal, are reminiscing in Heaven about those softball games! Cody also enjoyed Richard being his principal at Southside. Troy and I send our deepest condolences during this difficult time. Prayers for you all.
  28. Steven Steagall says:
    I have fond memories of playing basketball and baseball with Smalls when we were kids at Southside. My condolences to his loving family.
  29. Jo Thacker says:
    I am so sorry to hear of Mr. Smallwood’s passing. He was so wonderful to work for at Carol Oakland when I first started with the county. His sense of humor and enjoyment for life and people really showed through. He was one of the very best in education and did things “old school”. So loved by all….
    He will be deeply missed by this community.
  30. Evans Donnell says:
    What a great blessing to have crossed paths with Richard in this life. May God hold all of you in His hand as you grieve his death and celebrate his wonderful life.
  31. Heather Dillard says:
    I worked with Richard at LaVergne Middle. I remember him fondly. I am so sorry to hear of his passing at such a young age. I will be praying for his family.
  32. Ruthie Farmer says:
    I am so sorry to hear this. I loved his stories about living on Hobbs Lane. Prayers for you and your family.
  33. Jeff and Lisa Brockette says:
    Rest in peace, friend. Enjoyed being at ballgames with you and your family. Thank you for your dedication to students over the years. Prayers for Gina and the girls.
  34. Kimberly Johnson says:
    I didn’t get a lot of time to know Mr. Smallwood when my son was at Southside but he was always kind and had a smile on his face . I am sure he has impacted more kids then you can ever imagine . Thank you Mr. Smallwood for your service and dedication to the kids of Wilson county .
  35. Charles and Gail Morris says:
    We and our family are so sorry for your loss of Richard. Dawn, Shawn and Chris went to Friendship with him and he was part of church family. Our arms are around you in love.
  36. John, Teresa and Claire LaFevor says:
    So sorry to hear of Richard’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gina, Layla and Anna. Proud to call Richard a good friend. He will be missed.
  37. Myra Jane Sloan says:
    I was so saddened when I heard of Richard’s passing. He was such a fine man and educator. Richard always remained calm and had a great sense of humor. Several times while eating a Snow White years ago Richard would come in with his father to eat; he was such a good son. I am so fortunate to have crossed paths with such a wonderful man. Rest in peace, Richard.
  38. Chris, Melissa & Kyleigh Burton says:
    Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.
  39. Debbie says:
    We are so sorry to hear about Richard, he was a wonderful kind man. Sending prayers from Ray, Brooke, Blair and I.
  40. Mark and Kayla Zumbro says:
    We are so saddened by Richard’s passing. We will be praying for all of you. Love, Mark and Kayla
  41. dawnmcdannald@gmail.com says:
    Dawn (Black) McDannald
  42. Brendon Siegrist says:
    My condolences to the family… he was a great man and a wonderful teacher. He helped me in Carrol Oakland. One of the few people who I felt actually cared about the kids he taught. He was a fair and kind soul.
  43. Bruce Skeen says:
    so sorry to hear about about a great family man and educator death came way to some prayers to your family
  44. Donnie L. Denny says:
    My condolences to his family and friends .
  45. Barry Tatum says:
    This loss stings. Richard was a good kind man.
    He loved his family so much, knew he was blessed by Gina and was so proud of Layla and Anna and their accomplishments.
    Richard loved his peers and his students. He knew that teaching was much, much more than the “three r(s)”.
    Anyone who who had the good fortune to cross paths with Richard is better for it.
    Catch up with you later my friend.
  46. Robin Dayton says:
    I had the pleasure of working with Richard for a few years, and he was there anytime I needed any help and just so kind – to everyone. He will be missed greatly. Praying for your family.
  47. Konni says:
    Deepest condolences and prayers
  48. Bruce, Ginger, Addie And Perry Baird says:
    Gina,Layla and Anna, we were so blessed to have known Rich. The times we spent at the ball fields will always be remembered. I always knew when I was around him I would leave with a smile.Much love and prayers for you three.He will be greatly missed.
  49. Trayce Sackman says:
    Another great one gone too soon. Richard was such a cut up and gave away smiles for free. I am thankful for the time we had working together for WCS. He will be greatly missed. Deepest condolences to Mrs. Smallwood and the family.
  50. Bettye Fitts says:
    Richard was one of the best in everything he did, especially his kindness to others. I truly enjoyed my relationship with all of you over the years. Much love, thoughts, and prayers to you now.
  51. Stephanie Porter says:
    Mr Smallwood met and loved students where they were, and won them over with his genuine care and jovial personality. He will be deeply missed. Much love to his beloved Gigi and girls.
  52. Beth Minor says:
    Wilson County Schools lost a great one. Richard took good care of West Wilson Middle under his Attendance roll and he will be greatly missed. Thoughts and prayers for the family.
  53. Greg Gray says:
    So sorry for your loss, and our prayers go out to you and your family Richard was such a great person and friend I enjoyed being around him and he will be surely missed by all that knew him
  54. Gayle Martin Bentley says:
    Prayers for the Smallwood family!! Mr. Smallwood was such a nice man! He will be missed by many! God bless!!
  55. Linda Copciac says:
    I’m so sorry to hear of your husband/father’s passing. Thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless your family.
  56. Denise Brown says:
    May you find comfort during this times. My prayers are with you and your family.
  57. Renita Perry says:
    Gina, you and the girls are my heart and prayers. May God provide you strength during this time.
  58. Vicki says:
    Gina, Layla and Anna I am so sorry to hear of Richard’s passing. He and my brother Bill were such good friends in high school. I got to know you all throughout the years. Prayers for you all are you morn his passing. I’d like to think he and Bill are playing ball in heaven and telling jokes and laughing. Prayers for you all.
  59. Brandy rollin says:
    So sorry to hear about mr smallwood he was my kid’s principal in Southside school
  60. Ellen Jones says:
    Gina prayers for you and the girls.
  61. Betty Westmoreland (“Wes”) says:
    I am shocked and saddened to learn of Richard’s passing. He was a prince of a fellow. Gina, Layla, and Anna, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
  62. Janie Johnson says:
    Richard was a great teacher, principal, and friend. He always had a smile and a joke. He loved Gina ad the girls so much and spoke of them all the time. So much so it made you feel like you knew them just as well. He was such a great friend and mentor. He loved and lived to help others. He will be greatly missed.
  63. Randi Staggs says:
    Richard was my friend, my boss, and my mentor. His belief in me gave me so much confidence, and he never failed to be exactly where I needed him when I needed him. I learned so much from him, and my children benefitted greatly from his leadership at Southside. His huge smile was only rivaled by his huge heart. Everyone who knew him knew that heart beat for his wife and daughters, for his students and teachers, and for Alabama! The world has a hole in it now, but heaven has an angel.

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