In his obituary, Jerry “Smokie” Ingram was described as “a Forsyth County legend,” and he recently received a sendoff worthy of that honor.
As funeral services were held for Ingram, 70, on Friday, April 9 at Ingram funeral home, tow trucks and other well-wishers lined the roadway between the funeral home and his family’s destination at Ingram’s Renegade Towing & Recovery on Spot Road, complete with several tow trucks, hotrods and burnouts.
“Some of his most happy times were spent with fellow classic car enthusiasts. Smokie always made time for people,” Ingram’s obituary said. “He never met a stranger and would give the shirt off his back to anyone in need. He loved sharing his knowledge, experiences, jokes and talking shop to everyone.
“He loved attending car shows, swap meets and collecting old cars that he referred to as ‘yard ornaments.’ By far, his greatest joy and happiness was the time he spent with his family.”
Ingram, described as a true lover of classic cars and motorcycles, began Renegade towing in 1996 after previously operating Classical Gas Auto Restorations, “where he restored and customized many award-winning hot rods.” He began painting cars at age 8 and, at Renegade, worked closely with the Cumming Police Department and Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
He was born to the late James “Big Jim” Ingram and Mary Ruth Turner Ingram and lived all his life in and around Forsyth County.
Ingram is survived by his wife, Lori Ann Ingram; his children Micheal and Liz Ingram and Katie and Sanford Anthony. His step children; Josh Crane, Jeremy Crane, Jacob Crane and Desiree Crane. He had five grandchildren and 10 stepgrandchildren.
He is also survived by his brother, Kenneth Ingram, and sister-in-law Deborah Ingram; his sister Judy Clay and brother-in-law Ralph Clay; his sister Karen Ellis and brother-in-law Daryl Ellis.
Jim Dean and Katie Ingram contributed to this story.