Thane and Pat Smith
Thane Smith’s grandparents owned land on Winchester Road. His parents lived in Germantown along Poplar Pike (1939 and 1940). They moved into Memphis afterward and later moved back into Germantown in the 60s. Thane’s great uncle was Pete Mitchell, a cotton merchant in downtown Memphis. Pete Mitchell also ran a gravel pit in Germantown.
Thane was born Dec. 11, 1934, to parents Thomas Thane Smith, Sr. and Bama Faultner Phillips in Nashville, TN. He began his scouting activities with Troop 40 at St. Luke’s Methodist Church – Memphis, where he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 1949. He graduated from East High School in Memphis.
Thane earned his Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He was inducted into the Army in 1957, where he served in the Chemical Corps until 1960. Upon his return, he joined in partnership with his father’s company, Dobson-Smith, where the focus was primarily residential construction. Together, father and son built the Old Town Shopping Center in 1970, between Poplar Pike and West Street, which he continues to own and manage.
He and his wife Betty have two children, Randolph and Bama Smith.
In 1975, Thane became Scoutmaster of Troop 64 at Germantown United Methodist Church, and today, 45 years later, he continues to be involved in scouting activities at the local and national council levels. He was active in the Wood Badge Program serving as Wood Badge Scout Master/Course Director and has also served as Scoutmaster for the Junior Leader Training Course at Kamp Kia Kima. Thane served on the staff of the Philmont Training Center, and the Boy Scout National Adult Training Facility at Cimmaron, New Mexico. He was an adult advisor of 10 Philmont treks. He is a recipient of scouting’s Silver Beaver Award, given for outstanding service to scouting. The Chickasaw Council awarded him with the National Outstanding Eagle Scout Award in the summer of 2020, for his distinguished service to scouting.
Thane has mentored well over 100 young men toward their achievement of the Eagle Scout Rank. His son, Randy, is an Eagle Scout as are his two grandsons. Thane’s service to scouting and the Germantown community exemplifies what being an Eagle Scout is all about: providing service to others long after earning the Eagle Scout rank.
Thane was also involved in civic affairs in Germantown. Thane was a member of the Businessmen’s Association (a predecessor to the Germantown Chamber of Commerce), and later a member of the local Chamber. He served as President of the Germantown Chamber of Commerce as well as the Memphis & Shelby County Homebuilders Association. He was also a founding member and treasurer of the Germantown Association, a non-profit organization that oversees the Germantown Festival.
He helped with the first Germantown Christmas parades which featured floats that recognized businesses; as well as the newspaper, then known as the Germantown Star and later the Germantown News.
Thane and his wife Pat have been very active in the arts. They both have served on the Tennessee Arts Academy Foundation’s Board of Directors and received the Lorin Hollander Award for their years of commitment to the arts, community, and philanthropic endeavors. The Academy is recognized as the premier summer workshop for teachers of the visual, vocal, and performing arts in the United States, impacting over 125,000 students each year. They were also named Patrons of the Arts by the Germantown Arts Alliance.
Pat was born in Grenada, MS, and was raised in Water Valley. She received a B.A. in Education from Blue Mountain College, and later an M.A. in Education from the University of Memphis. While teaching at Collierville Middle School, she began working toward her Doctorate in Education. She has served as President of the Memphis Dental Auxiliary and a member of the Nineteenth Century Club. Pat and her husband Thomas have two children, Alice, and Thomas Pyron.
She has served as President of the Germantown Performing Arts Guild and the Germantown Arts Alliance, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Shakespeare Company, Germantown Community Theater, and the Germantown Historical Preservation Association (formerly Museum) Committee.
Pat has been interested in flower design and has served as President of the Germantown Garden Club, is a member of the Suburban Garden Club, and has had life memberships in the Tennessee Federation of Garden Clubs, Deep South, and National Garden Clubs, Inc. She is a Master Flower Show Judge and served as Tennessee’s Chairman for the World Flower Show in Philadelphia and Boston. Internationally, she has also judged flower shows in Argentina, Costa Rica, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.