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.