Mr. Joseph Seaborn ”Smoky Joe” Summerville
Mr. Joseph Seaborn Summerville, age 76 of Rome, died Sunday October 27, 2019 following a brief illness.
Mr. Summerville was born March 27, 1943 in Cullman, AL., son of the late Joseph Seaborn Summerville, Sr. and Melba Haynes Summerville.
“Smoky Joe” Summerville was a pioneer in the dirt stockcar racing industry from 1961 until his passing. He specialized in the “jig car” development. He mentored from TriCity Buggy in Illinois.
Smoky got his start racing old jalopy racecars throughout the red clay speedways of north Georgia in the 60’s. His personal racing career began in 1961, and his last race was in the open wheel class in 1982. Over the years, he won two cadet championships.
His original number was #23, which was for his daughter, Denise’s birthday. He never won a race. He changed in the early 70’s to his son Jody’s birthday number, #25, and won the first time out.
Smoky was fascinated with carburetors. He repaired thousands over his career.
He opened up the first chassis building business in the north Georgia area, Smoky Joe Racing Chassis, in 1979. He and, Jody, built over 250 dirt and asphalt racecars, until the shop closed in 2001.
Every car he built, except two, won races and/or championships. He mentored and guided thousands of local racers, and helped them any way he could until just a few months prior to his health declining this year. Numerous championships in Smoky Joe Racing Chassis were won by drivers through the Southeast.
In addition to his love of stock car racing, he owned and operated Joe’s Transmission Service for 50 years. He was well known for his wealth of knowledge and superior customer service when it came to transmission and torque converter repairs.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Summerville was preceded in death by his former wife, and the mother of his children Beverly Ann Bailey Summerville in 2006. Two sisters, Sherry Summerville Mitchell and Ann Summerville Mitchell, along with a brother, Terry Summerville.
Survivors include: his daughter and son-in-law, Denise Carter (Danny) Rome; son and daughter-in-law, Jody Summerville (Debra) Rome; 6 grandchildren, Amanda Jenkins, Ashley Stringer, Allison Black, Tiffany Robinson, Shannon Howard and Ashley Carter; 12 great-grandchildren, Harley Stringer, Noah Stringer, Jackson Jenkins, Ensley Jenkins, Kyle Black, Stephen Robinson, Mason Robinson, Colby Rogers, Riley Rogers, Hayleigh Gibbs, Aaron Ciccarelli and Brinley Robinson. A number of nieces and nephews also survive.
Funeral services will be held Thursday 11 AM in the chapel of Salmon Funeral Home with his daughter Denise Carter delivering the eulogy, interment will follow in Floyd Memory Gardens. The family will receive friends at Salmon Funeral Home Wednesday from 5 PM until 8 PM, at other hours they may be contacted at their respective residences.
Anyone who would like to say a few kind words, please contact Denise or Jody prior to the service.
Pallbearers are asked to meet at Salmon Funeral Home Thursday at 10:45 AM and include: Jody Summerville, Curtis Stoner, Danny Carter, Marvin Ford, Granger Howell and Matt Cantrell.
Join Mr. Summerville’s family in celebrating his life by visiting www.salmonfuneralhome.com to post tributes and share memories.
The staff of Salmon Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Joseph Seaborn Summerville.
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