Funeral for Bernal Smith II set for Friday

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Family and friends said their final goodbyes to beloved Memphis newspaper publisher Bernal Smith II on Thursday afternoon.

Smith, publisher of the new Tri-State Defender, died over the weekend of natural causes at 45 years old.

Smith was described as a committed servant and leader. Many knew him as a political analyst, sounding a voice of reason for community issues.

His visitation took place from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church-Westwood.

Hundreds of people came by to pay their respects, including Derrick Joyce, a close friend of Smith.

"He had just an endless hope in this community, his hard work. Whether it was through the 100 Black Men of Memphis or starting his own charter school, Bernal Smith was a man of action a man of vision," Joyce said.

Smith's funeral service will be at the same location Friday at noon.

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