Cover photo for Sidney Rayford Smith's Obituary
Sidney Rayford Smith Profile Photo

Sidney Rayford Smith

October 22, 1939 — November 25, 2023

West Monroe

Sidney Rayford Smith

Sidney Rayford Smith, a beloved coach, father, grandfather, and friend, passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 25, 2023, at the age of 84.

A memorial service to celebrate Sidney's life will be held on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, at 5:00 P.M. at the West Monroe High School gym. Visitation will be held from 4:00 P.M. until time of service. A reception to celebrate his life will follow directly after the service in the gym.

Sidney was born and raised in Baskin, LA, on October 22, 1939, to Lela and Ruby Smith.

Sidney developed a passion for basketball at a very young age, playing the sport throughout his school years. After graduating from Northeast Louisiana University with a Masters +30 in education, he pursued his love for the game by becoming a coach.

 

Sidney's coaching career spanned over three decades, during which he mentored and guided numerous players to success with stints at Wossman High School, Sam Houston State University, Sterlington High School, and St. Fredericks. However, West Monroe High School, where he coached for over 20 years held Sidney's heart and soul.

 

Throughout his career, he received countless accolades, including Coach of the Year awards and numerous championships, all proudly displayed in the WMHS gym. Also, he founded the WMHS Holiday Basketball Tournament, now titled the "Sidney Smith Invitational." His dedication to his teams and his ability to bring out the best in his players made him a highly respected figure in the basketball world.

 

Sidney was a true sports lover, dedicating his life to the game he adored and inspiring countless athletes along the way. His wit, humor, and vivacious spirit made him a fascinating conversationalist and brought joy to all those around him, making him a cherished figure in both the basketball community and his personal life. Off the court, Sidney was a loving father and grandfather. He cherished his family and always made time for them, despite his demanding coaching schedule.

 

In addition to his love for basketball, Sidney had a wide range of interests. He was a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs and enjoyed cheering them on during baseball season. He also found relaxation and joy in spending time on his houseboat, fishing. Gardening was another one of his passions, a skill he learned from his parents and continued to enjoy from the comfort of his back porch swing, where he could admire the evening sunset after a hard day's work.

 

Coach Smith is survived by his four children, Tracy Hamilton (Jayson Craft), Greg Smith, Shannon Smith, and Chris Smith (Kristin); as well as his grandchildren, Jordan Hendricks (Matthew, Curry, Camp), Jacob Armstrong (Gina Hogan), Sydney Patton (Collin), and Chandler Smith. He also leaves behind his best friend and forever love, Jan Smith (Jonathan, Nancy, Mary). In addition to his immediate family, Coach Smith leaves behind countless former players, coaches, and colleagues who were all like family to him. Special appreciation is extended to Tammy, Betty, and Tomica for their love, dedication, and care they provided to Sidney.

 

Coach Smith leaves behind a legacy of passion, dedication, and laughter. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and the basketball community. The impact he had on the lives he touched will continue to be felt for years to come.

 

May Sidney Smith rest in peace, forever remembered for his love of the game and his ability to create lasting memories with all who knew him.

 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sidney Rayford Smith, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

4:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

West Monroe High School Gymnasium

201 Riggs Street, West Monroe `, LA 71291

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Starts at 5:00 pm (Central time)

West Monroe High School Gymnasium

201 Riggs Street, West Monroe `, LA 71291

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Starts at 5:30 pm (Central time)

West Monroe High School Gymnasium

201 Riggs Street, West Monroe `, LA 71291

A reception to celebrate the life of Sidney will follow directly after the service in the gym.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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