Canton – J Z Smathers, 91, passed away on Monday, April 25, 2022, at Haywood Regional Medical Center.
J Z was a native of Haywood County and a son of the late Robert Frank and Maude Cabe Smathers. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 72 years, Martha Loujeanne Stiles Smathers, who died in 2020; three sisters, Frances Scroggs, Robbie Jo Scroggs, and Helen Smathers; and two brothers, Howard “Buck” Smathers and Jack T. Smathers. J Z was a dedicated employee for Champion Papers with a career that spanned 39 years. At the time of his retirement, he was the director of materials management for Champion Papers. His career path took he and his wife, Martha, from Haywood County to Atlanta and to Stamford, Connecticut and back to Canton when he retired in 1990. J Z was an active and dedicated member of the Canton Presbyterian Church and was also a member of the Masonic order and recipient of a 50-year pin. J Z became a referee for youth and high school sports which became his hobby and passion. He was selected to referee championship games in high school football. He also enjoyed being a fan of NASCAR.
J Z is survived by a son, Frank M. “Butch” Smathers (Lisa) of Childersburg, Alabama; two granddaughters, Mindy Faircloth (Glenn) and Lisa Smathers; and two great-grandchildren, Avery and Beckett Faircloth.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, 2022, at Canton Presbyterian Church with the Reverend Esta Jarrett officiating. A private family inurnment will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Canton Presbyterian Church, 190 Main Street, Canton, NC 28716.
The care of Mr. Smathers has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes of Canton and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at www.wellsfuneralhome.com