Mary Illine Smith, 81, of Raven, Virginia and a lifelong resident of the Hill Creek section of Richlands, Virginia was welcomed into the kingdom of Heaven on Sunday the 4th of December surrounded by her children, family, and close friends. She passed away after a lengthy illness.
Mary was born to the late Lee Ander & Barbara Ellen Smith Keen, the oldest of 13 children. She quit school to take care of her siblings after her mother died. In 1953, she married Doras Mason Smith. Together they had six children, who she worked hard to raise on her own after he died in a mining accident. She never remarried and passed on the 46th anniversary of his death. Mary was preceded in death by her husband Doras Mason Smith; her brothers Artemus, Nathaniel, Joseph Keene; her sisters Ida Smith and Liza Jane Vance.
Mary’s legacy of love and caring will be carried forward by her children - Gary Smith and wife Kathy, Donna Pruitt and husband Allen, Larry Smith and wife Sandra, Barry Smith, Keith Smith and wife Keisha, and Deborah Smith of the home. Her grandchildren - Clarissia, James, Mark, Billy Joe and wife Kelly, Danny and wife Jennifer, Brandy and husband Lance, Holly, Megan, Kellie and husband Jeffrey, Tiffany, Misty and husband Jerry, Joshua, Lucas, Joseph, Keisha and husband Matt, and Josh- along with her 27 great grandchildren - will always remember how welcomed and comforted they felt by her beautiful smile and sparkling eyes.
She is also remembered lovingly by her brothers Emory Keen and wife Olia, Ervin Keene and wife Sherry, Lee Junior Keene, Doug Keen and wife Frances, and Linkous David Keene and wife Teresa. Sisters Doris Helton, Lilly Whited, Letty Wells and husband Arnold, and Rhonda Hess.
Mary lived a life of unwavering faith dedicated to God. She was a spiritual leader in her church, Hill Creek Pentecostal Holiness Church, for nearly 40 years. Her steadfast faith provided peace and comfort in times of challenge to all who knew her. She simply glowed when she spoke of her love of Jesus with others and wanted everyone to share in her joy. She will be greatly missed, she had a heart so big and full of love – she never met a stranger. She would help anyone. A part of our hearts will go with her.
Mary worked hard and loved unconditionally. She was proud of her work in the cafeteria at Richlands Elementary School, where even the students called her “Mamaw.” She enjoyed gardening, flowers and wind chimes, almost as much as she enjoyed all things sweet. Reese’s Cups were her favorite. She made the best blackberry jam and chicken and dumplings. Those who loved her knew her to be both strong and strong-willed, a rock for her family and her church family. She will be remembered for her laughter, her long, warm hugs and her enthusiastic waves of good-bye. We imagine that there was never a more enthusiastic wave good-bye than on December 4th when she left this world to go Heaven.
Mary leaves behind a legacy of service, faith, and unconditional love that will continue to live in the hearts of all who were blessed to know her. We love you Mommy.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 – 9:00 P.M. Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at the Singleton Funeral Service in Cedar Bluff, Virginia. Funeral Services will be Thursday at 1:00 P.M. with the Pastor Larry Ball, Pastor Mike Altizer, and Pastor Erik Hess officiating. Burial will follow in the Clinch Valley Memorial Cemetery in Richlands, Virginia. Pallbearers will be grandsons. Honorary Pallbearers will be the Deacons of the Hill Creek Pentecostal Holiness Church.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by going to www.SingletonFuneralService.com.
Singleton Funeral Service is serving the Smith Family.