Dwight H "Buddy" Smith Jr.

January 23, 1971December 16, 2020

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under Heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

A Time to Be Born

Dwight Howard Smith, Jr. (known as Buddy) was born January 23, 1971 in Mt. Sterling, KY. He was the oldest of two children born to the late Dwight Howard Smith, Sr. and Nellie Coomes Smith. During his adolescent years, he resided in Morehead, KY where he attended school, worked at Smith’s Sport Center, and regularly attended the First Church of God where he trusted Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age.

A Time to Live

Buddy received his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Morehead State University, then relocated to Atlanta, GA where he was a team member at Niketown. His early career would go on to include serving as a sales representative for Delta Apparel travelling throughout the Midwest, working in Brand Management and Marketing for Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL during which time he also received his Master’s Degree in Business from Stetson University, and working as a Marketing Director for International Speedway Corporation in Daytona, FL. But ultimately, Buddy found his calling in his love for connecting people, owning his own marketing consulting business, networking and selling sponsorships for corporate events. He was an unselfish and generous giver, seeing to the needs that others might not have noticed, and always calling friends and associates just to check in to see if they were doing ok. Ready with a joke, a sports story, or advice, Buddy’s calls or messages were a pleasure to receive.

A Time to Love

Soon after moving to Atlanta, Buddy met and married Holly Long on November 12, 1994, and the “Buddy Holly” story was born. The couple made homes in Little Rock, AR, Desoto, KS, and in both Orlando and Bradenton, FL. They were blessed to spend 26 loving years together and raise 4 children, Zachary, Zoe, Zara, and Zander Smith (the Z-Pack) who were the absolute loves of his life. Buddy really loved to golf, but as the kids grew into their respective passions, he set his own desires aside to be “all-in” for them. And his own children were not the only kids who benefitted from Buddy’s commitment – he was an amazing youth football coach and mentor to countless boys all over the state of Florida. Whenever someone, especially a kid, needed help or advice, Buddy was always available with an infectious smile and a willing hand.

A Time to Die

On Wednesday, December 16th, Buddy went to be with Jesus with his family at his side at Largo Medical Center. Several weeks earlier, he had entered Manatee Memorial Hospital where he was diagnosed with double pneumonia and eventually Covid-19. During this difficult illness, Buddy fought the good fight, finished his race, and kept the faith. His last words were only of his sincere desire to love and provide for his family. He was preceded in death by his father, Dwight Howard Smith, Sr.

A Time to Remember

Buddy is survived by his wife, Holly L Smith, children Zachary Whitman, Zoe Elizabeth, Zara Kathryn, and Zander Caleb Smith, mother Nellie Smith, sister Sheri Smith, as well as a host of faithful friends. A celebration of life service is planned at Bayside Community Church - East Bradenton Campus, Bradenton, FL at 10:30 am on January 16, 2021.

In lieu of flowers, a contribution to an educational fund for the Z-pack would be greatly appreciated, and can be sent to P.O. Box 20362, Bradenton, FL 34204.


  • Z-pack Educational Fund


  • Bayside Community Church

    Saturday, January 16, 2021


Dwight H "Buddy" Smith Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Michelle and Matt Taylor

January 10, 2021


I can not even imagine the pain that your family has gone through losing Buddy. We have such fond memories of our time together in soul train and raising our babies together. We are so sorry for your loss and will continue to pray for your family.

Matt and Michelle Taylor

Darlene Pelton-Kildow

December 31, 2020

No doubt Heaven has gained a true Angel.
No words can express how sorry I am for your loss. My deepest sympathies are sent to you and your family during these difficult times. Hugs and prayers to you and your family.

Glenn Murray

December 30, 2020

To the Smith Family,

Wishing you my heartfelt prayers and condolences on your loss. I met Buddy through my job over 7 years ago. He was so full of energy and love for his family who he talked about often with great pride. There are no words that can ease the pain of the loss but I offer prayers. Remember all the good times, the smiles and the love. That will carry you through those difficult moments.


December 25, 2020

to the Smith family
Although I knew Buddy a relatively short time compared to others, we quickly became good friends. Although our calls and meetings often started as business related, they quickly turned to his chest bursting with pride and love for his family and stories of their achievements.
I can only hope that time will help diminish the pain. Although it will never leave completely, it will hopefully be replaced by the many wonderful memories of his life and family.
With heartfelt condolence for your great loss..

Allen and Tammy Bradley

December 24, 2020

We are so sorry for the loss of dear Buddy. Our memories of him are from the early 80’s when he served as the bat boy for Morehead American Legion Post 126 baseball team of which Allen was a member. I remember seeing Buddy do his job diligently, even at this early age. We are so very proud to hear of the life he lived so well. We will never forget what a special and sweet young man he was. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love, Allen and Tammy Bradley

Sandra Waddell white

December 24, 2020

Buddy was a great friend to everyone he never saw a stranger .so kind and giving of himself you will be missed buddy prayers to his family thinking about you

Tiffanee Mcnair

December 23, 2020

Where do I begin . I cant muster up the words or thoughts to put on paper what you meant to my family. We always said we were brother and sisters from another mother. I never expected to have to do this I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. Your larger than life personality radiates thru this community and your presence lives on. We love you and thank you for always being you and true to who you are. No worries I will help to hold the Z pack down. 😘❤🙏🏽

Jack and Sandy Holden

December 23, 2020

Dear Holly Smith and family.

Sandy and I were shocked at the news of Buddy's passing. We will always have memories of him him taking Sandy on jet ski rides and other good times. You will be in our prayers . Thanks for having a great guy for a husband. Be strong!