Dwight Avery Smith III
1953 - 2021
Dwight Avery Smith III, (aka (Avery Smith) "Bear"\"Papa Bear") died at his home Monday September 20, 2021, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was born December 13, 1953 in Denison, Texas at the Air Force Base Hospital as the first born son of Dwight A. Smith, Jr. and Geneva Duncan Smith. His roots were planted in his parent's home town of Ashland, Kentucky. Avery is preceded in death by his Parents: Dwight A. Smith, Jr. and Geneva Duncan Smith, as well as, his grandparents Dwight A. Smith, Sr., Ann Branham Smith and William and Mary Buckler Duncan. He was a wonderful husband and father for the last 34 years. He leaves his legacy to be cherished and carried on by his wife Gale Gravouilla Smith, his daughter Christina L. Selder, her three daughters: Maya K., Alyssa Gale and Katilyn Quinn Selder of La Mesa California. His son Andrew Schley LeBlanc and wife Heather along with their three sons Triston, Ashton and Connor Brannon of Camano Island, Washington. His sister Pamela Stamper and husband Jim Stamper of Ashland Kentucky and his special cousin Joy Childers and her son Trey. Starting off his career in the Marine Transportation Industry at Ashland Oil Company in Ashland Kentucky his first position as a deckhand earned him his Merchant Marine License With a load of experience and knowledge of the boats and barges he was transferred to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in January of 1978, to work for TPT, a branch of Ashland Oil. When TPT was sold to Kirby Inland Marine Transportation he continued his career. Over more than 37 years of service his job titles, positions and duties included but not limited to: repairs, inspections, loading/ unloading barges, daily location and dispatch of all boats and barges, human resources, computer/equipment, safety, employee and financial management 24 hours a day. It was unbelievable he knew every barge and boat dimensions and capacities even when answering middle of night phone calls. He knew and cared for the Marine business, as well as the employees and people he met in the industry. He was a true Tow Boater and loved the water. Avery was awarded the United States Coast Guard Public Service Commendation Award for his exceptional commitment to public safety and safe navigation of towing of towing vessels on the Lower Mississippi River from April 4-24, 1997. He was a key industry representative for the petroleum and hazardous liquid bulk carriers, he played a key role in the formation of a solid partnership with the Coast Guard and assisted in the development of rigorous Safety Zone regulations and the establishment of an around-the-clock Vessel Traffic Control Safety Zone in Baton Rouge. The outstanding initiative and concern he showed for his fellow mariners were in keeping with the highest traditions. As he sailed away to his final resting place, we who are many cherish the memories of this gentle man who always showed us patience, kindness, generosity and most of all unconditional Love. He was and always will be our beacon of light and hope yesterday, today and forever, may he rest in peace. We are forever blessed to have had you in our lives, Thank You Avery. A memorial service will be held on Saturday November 20, 2021. Visitation with family begins at 9:00 -11:00 am with church service starting at 11:00 am. in the St. Paul Lutheran Church 2021 Tara Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA 70806. To view and sign the online guestbook, please visit www.rabenhorst.com.

Published by The Advocate from Nov. 14 to Nov. 20, 2021.
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9:00a.m. - 11:00a.m.
St. Paul Lutheran Church
2021 Tara Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA
St. Paul Lutheran Church
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