NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Mitchell Hardware store owner Greg Smith died Monday morning at the age of 62, according to a release from the New Bern business.
The Mitchell Hardware owner served as a pivotal role in the revitalization efforts in downtown New Bern. Not only was Smith an advocate for the town; but, he was a father, grandfather, and friend.
As an ambassador for New Bern, he actively participated in charitable fundraisers, city projects, Mumfest, the arts community and local theatre.
Throughout the day, people dropped off candles, cards, and flowers in front of the store.
It was infectious humility and bright smile that made his difficult for those that knew him.
Michael Lentz is the owner of MJ’s Bar and Grill and Smith recruited Lentz to relocate to New Bern.
“Sabrina Bengel and Greg Smith told me about the need for growth and economic development for the area,” said Lentz. “Both of them were instrumental in my decision to move to the area.”
Lentz said Smith’s death comes as a complete shock to the area.
“He couldn’t even talk without supporting or holding up someone up in this town,” said Lentz. “He’s going to be extremely missed but his love and his spirit and his passion for this city will live on.”
The owner was known for his impeccable work ethic, often times starting his day early in the morning and ended them after sunset.
You can release the full release below:
It is with deep sadness that we share the loss of a father, grandfather, and dear friend. This morning, Greg Smith, owner of Mitchell Hardware located at 215 Craven Street, passed away. He was 62 years-old. All of us – his family, friends, and the Mitchell Hardware family – will miss him terribly.
Greg was an ambassador for New Bern. He was always willing to share a story about our beloved town. He never met a stranger, gave the best bear hugs, loved to laugh, and was always smiling. Mitchell Hardware was his heart and soul. He was here before the sun came up and, often times, until long after sunset. He never took a day off, and looked after the employees as if we were his own. Our biggest cheerleader inside and outside of the store, Greg was supportive of so many New Bern endeavors… charitable fundraisers, city projects, Mumfest, the arts community, local theatre, the military, Swiss Bear and the Chamber of Commerce.
We are working to make funeral arrangements and will keep everyone informed of our plans. We appreciate your support and patience while family, friends, and the New Bern community grieve the loss of such a wonderful human being. Mitchell Hardware will remain closed today.