NEWPORT NEWS — Denbigh’s beloved barber, Kent Gary Smith, 77, lost his battle with cancer on October 12, 2021 with his family by his side. He was born in Mississippi to Alfred J. and Arlene I. Smith. He was preceded in death by his father, Alfred J. Smith. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Diana W. Smith of Newport News, his mother Arlene I. Smith of Newport News, 2 children Kelly G. Smith of Mechanicsville, VA and Scott A. Smith of Kill Devil Hills, NC, 2 grandsons Landon and Lachlan Fender of Mechanicsville, and 1 grand dog, Fin Smith of Kill Devil Hills.
As a child, Kent lived in several different states while his father served in the Air Force. After his father retired, his family settled on the Peninsula where Kent met Diana in 1966 at Sherwood Shopping Center where they both worked. Kent began his barbering career of 56 years at Sherwood Barber Shop on May 5, 1965. He eventually bought the barber shop from George Grissom when George retired. In 1985 Kent built his building across from Sherwood Shopping Center where he established Hairsmiths and he continued his legacy until May 2021.
Over the 56 years of Kent’s career, his many generations of customers became like family to him. He was always as devoted to his customers as they were to him. He had many customers who had their first haircuts as well as their wedding cuts and then brought their children to him for their haircuts. He was always happy to go the homes of his customers who were confined by illness to cut their hair and cheer them up with the corniest jokes ever. Many of Kent’s first customers stayed with him from the beginning until the end of his career. Kent’s family would like to thank each and every customer for their support and friendship over the years.
We would also like to thank the doctors and nurses at Hampton Sentara and Virginia Oncology Associates for the excellent care he received during his illness. Thank you to Hospice of Virginia and Agape Home Healthcare for the loving support and care they gave to Kent and his family. We would like to acknowledge Altmeyer Funeral Home for their outstanding professionalism, patience and kindness that they have extended to our family to help us through this painful process. Last, but certainly not least our family would like to send a very special thank you to Tim Wojcek and his team at the Newport News Fire Station #6 who went above and beyond in helping Kent during his toughest times and responding immediately during all hours day and night. We are truly grateful.
Diana, Kelly, and Scott would like to invite all of Kent’s friends and customers to visit with us at Hairsmiths, 13784 Warwick Blvd. on November 7, 2021 from 2 pm to 5pm. We look forward to sharing great stories with each of you. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to THRIVE Peninsula 13195 Warwick Blvd #2c Newport News, VA 23602. Please visit www.altmeyerfuneralandcremation.com to leave condolences.