Dr. Gary Locke Smith was born on Friday the thirteenth, 1944, in Fargo, North Dakota and departed this earth on February 7th, 2022. His parents were Mary (Hector) and Robert Smith. Gary attended Shattuck Military School in Fairbault, MN and the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. After his graduation, he moved South to attend the Southern College of Optometry. Upon receiving his degree, he was recruited by Dr. Jack Runninger to join his optometric practice and Gary moved to Rome where he fell in love with the small town community. He lived and practiced optometry in Rome for over forty years. Gary was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his loving wife Karen (Gonzalez) Smith to whom he was married for forty six years. His children are Mary Locke Cox of Charlotte, NC, Eddie Gonzalez (Jennifer) of Atlanta, GA, Pamela María Gonzalez (Russell Campbell) of Wildwood, GA, and Ana Gonzalez DeHart (Henry) of Raleigh, NC and five grandchildren Gabriela Gonzalez, Tres Gonzalez, Ian Campbell-Gonzalez, Loring DeHart and Ward DeHart. He is survived by his brother and musical partner, Wendell (Sandra) Smith of Phoenix, AZ, as well as nieces, nephews, cousins and mother-in-law Diana Koelling of Minneapolis, MN. Music was an important part of Gary’s life since his youth when he saved up money to purchase his very first guitar. He attended elementary school with Bobby Vee, world renowned music artist, and they enjoyed a lifelong friendship, with Vee performing several concerts in Rome, GA when he visited Gary. Gary loved to share his musical talents and began performing with the Sigma Nu Trio at UND (once opening for the Mamas and the Papas), then performing in Rome with the Kingston Connection. Gary, on guitar, and Karen, on piano, played beautiful music together and their home was full of song. Gary loved singing his young children to bed at night and, by popular demand from his kids, he would dress up as the Rhinestone Cowboy and perform at St. Mary’s Catholic school. His voice never struck a false note, his repertoire of songs was vast, and he loved every genre of music. Later in life Gary began performing in musical theatre, his first role was of Captain Van Trapp in the Rome Little Theatre performance of The Sound of Music. He went on to play the lead of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, and Gaylord Ravenell in Showboat. For several years he was on the Board of the Rome Little Theatre and he served as the President of the Board as well. Gary and Karen were both dedicated patrons of the Rome Little Theatre and enjoyed seeing the historic DeSoto building undergo renovations to regain its former glory. Gary was an accomplished athlete and excelled in golf, tennis, bicycling, ping pong and pinball. The entire family played tennis together and enjoyed competing on the courts for many years. He took pride in watching his son Eddie play Division 1 tennis at North Carolina State University. Gary served as President of the Rome Tennis Club and he helped pave the way for what the Rome tennis scene is today. He was an avid Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons and Berry Vikings fan. He became a dedicated Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket baseball fan after his grandson Tres joined the baseball team there. Gary loved biking the historic Silver Comet Trail and walking his many beloved pets on the beautiful Berry College campus. In his second career, Gary became an independent theatre owner and his motto was “Movies are great medicine.” He owned and operated Rome’s Village Theatres and the Rome Cinemas. He built the Mt. Berry Theatres, bringing state of the art sound and technology to Romans. He hosted the annual Night at the Movies event to benefit the Rome Exchange Club. He loved all types of movies but an all time favorite, given his love of animals, was the Lion King and it’s theme song The Circle of Life. The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the staff, caregivers and residents of Riverwood Senior Living and to Tapestry Hospice Care for their compassionate care during Gary’s battle with Alzheimer’s. Contributions in his name may be made to The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, The Historic DeSoto Theatre Foundation, Berry College or Riverwood Senior Living. The family will hold a private memorial service on Saturday February 12th, followed by a reception for friends at the Coosa Country Club from 3-5pm