Clifford F. Smith, 89, joined his beloved wife, Sally, in paradise on January 16, 2020, just two short months after Sally’s passing on November 14, 2019.  Married for over 59 years, they are together again for all of eternity.

Born on October 30, 1930, in Pinehurst, North Carolina, he was one of four sons and a daughter born to the late John Watson and Agnes (Johnson) Smith.  He grew up in the “Afterglow Cottage” right around the corner from the Holly Inn, and he returned to Pinehurst for his retirement after a long and successful career in the hospitality business.

Cliff worked at the Carolina Hotel for many years and ultimately rose to become its General Manager.  In the early days, the hotel would shut down for the summer months and he and some other members of the hotel staff would pack their belongings and head up to the Marshall House in York Harbor, Maine.  It was there that he met the love of his life, Sally, daughter of the late Nathaniel and Rachel Marshall, whom he married in 1960.  After the sale of Pinehurst and the Carolina in 1970, Cliff and Sally traveled extensively, as Cliff’s work took them to some of the finest hotels and clubs around, including the Naples Hotel Golf & Beach Club in Naples, Florida, and the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. 

He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Sally, and his siblings, Dr. John Watson Smith, Robert Gordon Smith, Richard Stanley Smith and Betty Smith Benbow.  He leaves sisters-in-law, Eunice Ann M. Graham of York, Maine; Jane L. Smith of West Hartford, Connecticut; several nieces and nephews; and his dog, Ms. Moe; all of whom will miss him dearly.

The family would like to express its gratitude and appreciation to Cliff and Sally’s caregivers and companions who helped them in their final days, including Wendy Locklear-Clegg, Juanita Bethea and Makeda Mason, as well as the physicians, technicians and nursing staff at the Moore Regional Hospital.  The family would also like to thank the friends and neighbors who provided friendship and support to Cliff upon Sally’s passing.

A memorial service will be held at the Boles Funeral Home, 35 Parker Lane, Pinehurst, 11a.m on Saturday, February 1st, 2020.  Burial will follow at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Southern Pines.  For directions and online condolences, please visit

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