Loyd Baxter Smith, Sr.

Loyd Baxter Smith, Sr., 85, passed away Friday, January 8, 2021 at Atrium Health Cleveland.

Born in Shelby, NC on March 11, 1935, Loyd was the son of the late John Wiley Smith and Helen Anthony Smith. A 1953 graduate of Shelby High School, Loyd continued to Gardner Webb University before transferring to his beloved UNC Chapel Hill where he graduated in 1957.

Loyd spent the entirety of his professional career growing the insurance and investment sales portfolio of Metropolitan Life Insurance. Of the 38 years Loyd worked for MetLife, 28 years were spent leading the Shelby office. Under his leadership, the Shelby office defied expectations by matching and exceeding offices in much larger cities in investments and insurance sales year after year. His colleagues and family remember his career at MetLife to have been driven by a central purpose of providing for his family, a strong passion to serve his community, and a deep desire to care for every person who walked through his office doors whether it be a client or a fellow employee.

Outside of his professional career, Loyd nurtured many passions and used them to enrich his local communities of Shelby and Blowing Rock, NC. He and his wife opened Antiques and Accents in Uptown Shelby where they personally sourced and sold antiques from England for 11 years. Even after Antiques and Accents closed its physical store in Shelby, Loyd and Becky continued their passion and, to this day, collected and sold antiques in Shelby and Blowing Rock. As a dual resident, Loyd was also very involved in the Shelby and Blowing Rock communities. In Shelby he served Central United Methodist Church in numerous leadership roles and was a founding member of the Saints and Sinners Sunday School Class. He was a charter member of the Historic Shelby Foundation, and a past member of the Shelby Rotary and Civitan Clubs. In Blowing Rock he served as the President of the Blowing Rock Historical Society, and was a long-time member and board member of Blowing Rock Methodist Church.

While Loyd was very involved with his community, his family and friends will first and foremost remember the endless joy he had for life. They will remember his life-long love for the mountains and beach trips where he always looked for shark teeth, built sand forts for his grandchildren, and made bark baskets in the shade. They will cherish him for the years he spent marching in the Blowing Rock 4th of July Parade with his grandchildren, also known as the Rankin Road Rugrats. And they will remember him for his love of dancing no matter the music or setting, for cheering on the Tar Heels wherever he went, and for being the finest husband, father, grandfather, and friend for which anyone could ask.

Loyd is preceded in death by both parents and his brother Robert Bob Smith of Burlington, NC. Loyd is survived by his devoted wife Becky of 66 years; his daughter and son-in-law Kim and Cecil Burton of Shelby and their children Lauren, Manning, and Rebecca; his son and daughterin-law Loyd Jr. Kip and Robin Smith of Shelby and their children Baxter and Wesley and her husband Hayden Roberts; his son and daughter-in-law Scott and Wendy Smith of Shelby and their son Isaac; his son Seth Smith of Shelby; his brother-in-law Jack Arey and wife Carole of Shelby; his sister-in-law Doris Smith of Burlington, NC; and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life will be held in the Chapel of Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home at 2:00pm on Saturday, January 23, 2021. Burial will follow at Sunset Cemetery in Shelby. It is requested that those in attendance wear face coverings and practice social distancing. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Central United Methodist Church 200 E Marion St. Shelby, NC 28150, Blowing Rock Methodist Church P.O. Box 352 Blowing Rock, NC 28605, or a charity of the donors choice.

Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family.

Guest Registry is available at www.cecilmburtonfuneralhome.com

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