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Valentine Val W. R. Smith, III, obituary

Valentine “Val” W. R. Smith, III, 84 of Nashville, Tenn., died Feb. 27, 2013.

Mr. Smith was retired Vice President of Gaylord Entertainment.

Mr. Smith was born Nov. 15, 1928 in Alexandria, Virg., attended the University of Maryland where he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and he served in the U.S. Air Force. Mr. Smith joined the National Life and Accident Insurance Co. in 1955 as an Assistant Loan Supervisor in the Real Estate and Mortgage Department. Mr. Smith rose to the position of Vice President and Manager of their Real Estate Investment Department. Mr. Smith also served as Vice President of the NLT Corporation as well as the Senior Vice President and member of the Board of Directors of the Intereal Company.

Here, Mr. Smith had the responsibility of selecting and acquiring the site for Opryland Theme Park and Hotel properties. Mr. Smith was in charge of or involved in many Nashville developments, including the Wild Horse Saloon, Ryman renovations, Springhouse Golf Club, Opryland Music Group building, Gaylord Corporate Offices, and The Blakeford at Green Hills. Mr. Smith joined the Irving Company as Senior Director of Hotel Development, moving to Newport Beach, Calif., returning to Nashville to join Opryland as Director of Development. In 1995, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Development from Middle Tennessee Regional Committee. Mr. Smith retired in 1996 as Senior Vice President of Design, Development and Construction for Gaylord Entertainment Co. Mr. Smith was active in civic affairs including Chairman of the Aviation Committee for the Chamber of Commerce, Vice Chair of the Board of the Visiting Nurses Service, Co-Chair of the Land Use Sub-Committee, and served on the Board of Directors for Crittenton Services, The Blakeford at Green Hills, and The Hillwood Country Club.

Mr. Smith was a SRPA member of the Appraisal Institute, a member of the World Seniors Golf Association and The Quiet Birdmen.

Mr. Smith is survived by wife Jean Hickman Smith, daughters Cathy (Jimmy) Scott, Betsy (Tom) Morgan, Valerie (John) Hartong, Kim (Scott) Sewell, five grandchildren, one great grandchild, two step-children, eight step-grandchildren and four step-great grandchildren.

Memorial services were held Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home and Cremation Services.

The family wishes to thank the Staff of Brighton Gardens for their loving care. In lieu of flowers, Mr. Smith had requested that memorials be made to St. Luke’s Community House ( or Hope Clinic for Women (

Arrangement are by Williamson Memorial Funeral Home and Cremation Services at Franklin.

Posted on: 3/4/2013


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