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Governor to Attend Fallen Trooper’s Service in Corinth Thursday

By Josh Mitchell/Corinth Today

Josh Smith

Gov. Phil Bryant will attend the celebration of life service for fallen Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper Josh Smith on Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Crossroads Arena in Corinth, according to the governor’s office.

Smith, 32, was found shot and killed in Hatchie Bottom near the Tippah/Alcorn County line early Sunday.

Rienzi resident Troy Anthony Eaton, 43, has been charged with capital murder and attempted murder.

Cpl. Smith was off-duty when he was killed near Big Hatchie Bottom about halfway up a steep gravel road near the Waldon Bridge, not too far from County Road 202 in Tippah County.

The circumstances surrounding the shooting remain unclear as state officials investigate the case.

Many people throughout Northeast Mississippi and beyond remember Smith as a devoted husband, father and state trooper who enjoyed serving others.

Visitation is Wednesday from 5-9 p.m. and Thursday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Crossroads Arena.

Below is Smith’s obituary from Magnolia Funeral Home in Corinth:

The service will be officiated by the Rev. Ronald Wilbanks, Master Sgt. Ray Hall and Cpl. Gary Stanton.

Josh Smith, or as Chelsea lovingly referred to him “Kenny,” was a devoted father and husband. He worked hard to provide for his family making sure their needs were met before his own. He was a respected officer with the Mississippi Highway Patrol since 2007.

He dedicated his talents to build his career working from Motorcycle Patrol, to the SOG unit, and currently a proud member of the SWAT team. While friends and family always held a fear of the unknown that comes with a career dedicated to serving others, Josh served fearlessly in whatever capacity he was needed to fill.

While he enjoyed many things in life such as fishing and hunting with Bryson or drinking milkshakes and riding the Razor with his favorite little girl, Lilly Poo, family was the most important thing in life. Josh and Chelsea enjoyed life together no matter what they did. It could be as simple as riding in the old yellow Dodge, working on cars, or the countless remodels to their new home, they loved each other passionately.

He also loved hosting friends and family at home for a cookout, eating Mexican food with Josh and Stacie, or just gathered around the fire pit sharing his always funny stories or teasing each other; he was a joy to be around.

When he wasn’t serving others, he turned a hobby working on automobiles into a second career that he enjoyed with his wife. While Josh leaves a void that will never be filled, the pride that his family and friends have for the outstanding man he was will carry on forever.

Those left to honor Josh’s memory include his wife: Chelsea Smith of Walnut, MS; son: Bryson Lane Smith of Walnut, MS; daughter Lilly Kate Smith of Walnut, MS; mother: Vickie Clark of Walnut, MS; father: James Smith and wife Mary of Walnut, MS; brothers: Brandon Jones and wife Dana, Canon Hawkins and wife Dezaray all of Walnut, McKenzie Clark and wife Bethanie of Corinth, MS; sisters: Tonya Vick and husband Ricky, Sharee Carter and husband Dusty, Michelle Wilbanks all of Walnut, MS and Kelly Smith of Florida; other brothers: Josh Russell and wife Stacie, Tommy Garrett and wife Shelley and Jesse James all of Walnut, MS; other parents: Tim James and wife Kim of Walnut, MS; father-in-law: Randy Follin of Corinth, MS; sisters-in-law: Brandi Greene and husband Jimmy of Corinth and Melanie Brooks and Clint Horton of Falkner; other Relatives and a Host of Friends.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents: Martha Lou & Marlin Jones and mother-in-law: Robin Follin. Pallbearers will be Tim James, Josh Russell, Teddy Carter, Jesse James, Josh Still, Tommy Garrett and T. J. Richardson. Honorary pallbearers will be MHP – F Troop and Swat, Austin Malone, Clint Horton, Brandon Jones, Canon Hawkins, Blake Butler, Hunter Switcher, Timothy Thrasher, Ricky Vick and Terry Hopkins.
Magnolia Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Cpl. Kenneth Josh Smith.

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