By GERRY L. DICKERT
When the Silsbee Homecoming Parade starts its trek through the middle of town this Saturday, a familiar face will lead the way.
Dot Smith will celebrate her 83rd birthday this Saturday as she takes her position in the lead car of the Silsbee High School Centennial Homecoming Parade.
Also being recognized this year is honorary parade marshal 93-year-old Eddis Smith.
The parade will take place Saturday starting at 10 a.m. The route will run from Kirby Elementary School along North 5th Street through the city.
There will be a bonfire at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the student parking lot at Silsbee High School. There will be booths and activities set up by student organizations. The lighting of the fire will take place at 7:30 p.m.
On Friday, the Homecoming Pep Rally starts at 2:35 p.m. in Tigers Gym. Prior to the game Friday night, a pre-game show will begin at 6:55 p.m. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. against the Jasper Bulldogs.
Students will also enjoy their Homecoming Dance on Saturday night from 8 p.m. to midnight.
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Dot Smith has been active in the Silsbee community for the past 43 years. In particular, she has a special passion for helping the students of Silsbee ISD. Besides volunteering at various schools over the years, Smith served on the Silsbee school board for 14 years, many of those as the board secretary.
She was also co-chairperson of the Regional School Board Association for two years.
Smith served as the Silsbee Bicentennial chairperson in 1976, has been a longtime member of the Silsbee Woman’s Club and a charter member of the Hardin County chapter of the American Heart Association. She has been a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustments for the past 12 years.
She has also been a member of the Hardin County Home Life Committee, member of the Community Center’s fund raising efforts, active in the Parents Advisory Committee for Title I programs, a member of the Community Pride Coalition, Silsbee Little Theater and is a member of the First Baptist Church of Silsbee.
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Eddis Smith graduated from Silsbee High School in 1936 after having worn the maroon and white of the Silsbee Tigers as a player.
After graduation, Eddis went on to pursue his education by putting himself through Chenier Business School. Later, he proudly served his country in the Pacific Theater as an Army Master Sergeant during World War II.
He later worked for Britton-Cravens Lumber Company and in 1952 became an ordained Baptist minister. He attended both East Texas Baptist College in Marshall and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Eddis was the first pastor of Pinecrest Baptist Church in Silsbee and served various other pastorates for nearly four decades.
He will turn 93 this November.