H.M. Patterson & Son-Oglethorpe Hill Chapel

4550 Peachtree Road Ne, Atlanta, GA


Joseph Braxton Smith

February 18, 1940April 28, 2020

Joseph Braxton Smith, 80, of Atlanta, died at home on April 28, 2020. Joe was born in Savanah, Georgia to the late Joseph Edgar Smith and Lois Dunford Smith. He was a 1958 graduate of Savannah High School, where he played football and baseball and was the All-City Quarterback his senior year. He attended what was then Armstrong Junior College in Savannah, before transferring to the University of Georgia, where he lettered in baseball. Joe graduated from the University of Georgia with a BBA in accounting and from Georgia State University with a Master of Public Accounting. In 1962, Joe married Jude Anne Phillips, who was also a Savannah native and the two moved to Atlanta, which became their permanent home. They were married for 50 years and had two daughters and five grandchildren prior to Jude’s death in 2013.

Joe and his business partner and close friend, James C. Howard, founded the accounting firm of Smith & Howard in 1971, in Atlanta. Joe provided tax and advisory counsel to individuals and businesses. The firm continues to thrive today with over 130 employees and has won many awards. Joe was very proud of the continued success of Smith & Howard and enjoyed serving as a mentor to the many young professionals who came through Smith & Howard’s doors. Joe was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from Georgia State University Robinson College of Business. He was a member of the AICPA; a lifetime member of the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants, where he served as Trustee of the Insurance Trust; the Georgia Federal Tax Conference, where he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees; the Atlanta Estate Planning Council; the Atlanta Tax Forum, where he served on the Board of Directors and was Treasurer; and the National Association of Estate Planning Council. Joe was a member of Capital City Club; Sea Island Club; Highlands Country Club; UGA President’s Club and Gridiron; He also served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Phoenix Society; served on the Marist School Planned Giving Committee; was on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Transplant Foundation; and was a founding member of the Silver Lake Civic Association. He was a member of the Cathedral of Christ the King.

Joe was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He was a constant presence in the lives and many activities of his daughters and grandchildren. He loved spending time with them at the beach, in the mountains, and at his beloved home on Silver Lake. Those times always included music, singing, dancing, and most of all much laughter. Joe’s family and friends will dearly miss his smile and infectious laugh; his love of a good prank; his bow ties; and his smooth moves on the dance floor.

Joe was predeceased by his parents, Edgar and Lois Smith; his wife, Jude P. Smith; his sister-in-law, Pamela Newton Smith; and his brother-in-law, Robert A. Phillips. He is survived by his daughters, Michaela Smith Young and Natalie Smith Childs; son-in-law, F. Scott Young; grandchildren, Sarah Margaret Young, Joseph Braxton Young, Nettie Smith Childs, James Whidden Childs, Jr. and Joseph Phillips Childs, all of Atlanta; brother, Michael Smith, of St. Simons, GA; sister-in-law, Harriet Phillips of West Chester, PA; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, John and Suzanne Phillips of Columbus, GA; sister-in-law, Michelle P. Whitledge of Savannah, GA; and numerous nieces and nephews. The family wishes to thank Joe’s caregivers for their love and friendship.

A private Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Atlanta, GA followed by a private interment at Arlington Memorial Park. The Funeral can be watched live at https://livestream.com/ctk/events/8781593. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in honor of Joe can be made to the Georgia Transplant Foundation by mail to 2201 Macy Drive , Roswell, GA 30076 or online at www.gatransplant.org/giving OR to Marist School by mail to 3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, GA 30319 or online at www.marist.com/onlinegiving. Please write “In memory of Joseph B. Smith” in the memo line or comments section of your gift.


  • Funeral Mass: LIVE STREAM

    Saturday, May 9, 2020


Joseph Braxton Smith

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