LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Longtime 6th Judicial Circuit Judge Vann Smith died Saturday at the age of 71.

Smith retired in 2020 after serving the 6th Judicial Circuit that covers both Perry and Pulaski counties for 32 years on the bench.

“Judge Smith was a fine man and a good judge. He was our Chief Judge in the 6th Circuit for my first 8 years and a mentor,” Circuit Judge Chip Welch said in a Facebook post. “May God Bless his soul and give comfort to Cathy, his children, brother Bob and all the family.”

Judge Shawn Johnson echoed those sentiments, writing on Facebook that Smith was “an extraordinary mentor and friend” and noting the work he did in the community when he traded the judicial bench for one in a dugout coaching Little League baseball.