A deceased Charleston businessman is remembered for his enthusiasm for life and his contributions to the Kanawha Valley.
Isaac “Ike” Smith IV, a retired banker and owner of a real estate company, died on June 22 at the age of 89.
Smith grew up in Kanawha City and graduated from Charleston High School, Washington and Lee University, and Washington and Lee School of Law, according to his obituary.
He joined Kanawha Banking & Trust Company in 1960 before becoming President and CEO of KB&T and Intermountain Bankshares, Inc. in 1982. In 1986, KB&T was acquired by United Bankshares, Inc. and became an office of United Bank.
Richard Adams, president and CEO of United Bankshares, worked with Smith to merge the two companies.
Smith was âone of the most wonderful people I have ever known. A great personality, âsaid Adams. âPeople loved Ike Smith. I told him when he retired that he could have his office on the third floor of the United Bank building for as long as he wanted.
The office is still there, filled with memories of Smith, Adams said. âI think it shows the respect I have for Ike and all of his family,â he said.
Smith served as Chairman of United Bank and United Bankshares, Inc. After his retirement, he continued as Director Emeritus of United Bankshares, Inc.
DF Mock, regional president of West Virginia Markets at United Bank, said he met Smith early in his career. When Mock moved to the Charleston Market in 2015, Smith was interested in helping Mock adapt to the business community by introducing him to clubs and civic organizations, he said.
“He offered me to be a member of the Rotary Club of Charleston and recommended me for appointment to the board of directors of the West Virginia Humanities Council,” Mock said in a written statement. âI will always cherish the kind and heartfelt message he shared with the Rotary Club when he introduced me as a new member. I am grateful for our conversations as he reflected on the history of banking in the Valley. of Kanawha and appreciate the wisdom he shared with me about the importance of community engagement and service. I admired his caring spirit, selflessness and ability to make you feel good. had a significant positive impact on many people throughout his life. â
In addition to his banking activities, Smith ran four family-owned real estate and land development companies – Kanawha City Company, West Virginia Coal Land Company, Kanawha Company and Roxalana Land Company, which merged to form Kanawha-Roxalana Company in 2000. He was President and CEO of the company until his retirement in 2017.
Smith’s son, Lyle Smith, worked with him in real estate and banking.
âI learned more about evaluating and appreciating people than evaluating balance sheets and income statements,â said Lyle Smith. He said his father had the ability to see the good in others and be inspired by it, instead of dwelling on the negative.
Lyle Smith said his dad loved all the activities he was involved in.
âHe was a guy who had been a lot and had a long life,â said Lyle Smith. “He was so enthusiastic and so passionate about everything he did … all the activities he did, he did them with a lot of passion and enthusiasm.”
He also loved his church, Kanawha United Presbyterian, his daughter, said Lisa Smith.
âHe was the most enthusiastic person, with a keen interest and intense joy for what he loved, and he loved a lot of things,â said Lisa Smith. âHe loved his family and friends. He loved Charleston and the Kanawha Valley so much, as well as the state of West Virginia. He proudly shared a birth with West Virginia on June 20. “
Among his many accolades, Ike Smith received the YMCA Spirit of the Valley Award in 1990. He received the Charleston Renaissance Corporation âVolunteer of the Yearâ award in 2000. He and his wife, Stuart, received the 2020 âGood Scouterâ award from the Buckskin Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Smith has also held various positions for several community and business organizations including Rotary International, the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce, the Charleston Urban Renewal Authority, and the West Virginia Humanities Council, among others. He has served as a Director Emeritus on the Washington and Lee Board of Trustees and the University of Charleston.
Brad Ritchie, president of Summit Community Bank, worked with Smith earlier in his career when Ritchie was market president at United Bank. Ritchie said that in the 11 years he worked for Smith, he asked more about the ways they helped charities than he did about the amount of money they made.
âWhat I will remember is Ike had a unique ability to see only the good in people,â Ritchie said. “And not only would see the good, he would magnify the good.”
A memorial service for Smith is scheduled for Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Kanawha United Presbyterian Church in Charleston.