Mary Lee SmithOctober 23, 1931 ~ April 11, 2018 (age 86)
Mary Lee Matthews Smith was born on October 23, 1931, in Hastings, Florida to Hamp Matthews and Mary Davis. Mary was the youngest of the three girls and seven boys. She grew up in Florahome, Florida until the family moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1941. Periodically, Mary would return to her roots to live. She married the love of her life, Hasting C. Smith. They were joined in Holy Matrimony on February 3, 1953, and raised one daughter, Joyce Elaine. Mary departed this life on April 11, 2018, at the Baptist Medical Center located downtown Jacksonville, Florida knowing that her family deeply loved her.
Her career achievements as a homemaker, wife, mother, counsel, nurse, and military spouse were pillars of strength to her family. To her husband, Mary was the best mother, mentor, advice giver, friend and so much more. She was often described as a devoted Christian and wife; one of a kind with unprecedented willpower; a fun loving, no-nonsense kind of a mother; passionate for teaching children about kindness, and self-love among other topics, and is remembered today for her dedication and obedience to John 15:12 (Love each other as I have loved you).
Mary and her husband were an inseparable couple; hearts and souls like theirs’ will always be close. They could be separated from one another by great distances and long passages of time because of the military life. And yet, upon meeting again, would simply continue on as though they had never been apart, an example of what God will do, when He’s allowed to lead and bless a union.
Mary was always immensely proud of her core and extended Smith families, her daughter, granddaughter, and God son and all of their accomplishments were constantly badges of honor. To her friends, she was the best friend, supporter, encourager and companion they could ask for. Her heart was always loving and open, and would do anything for anyone. Mary loved all animals, especially the dogs they owned through the years, Bob, Brownie, Duchess, and Kim. She enjoyed quilt making and often gave them to other people. Looking back, there is no way to cover all of Mary’s legacy. Therefore, family, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends can fill in the blanks.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband; parents; brothers, Nathaniel, Andrew, Gerald, Eugene and Edward; sisters, Rosa Lee Singleton and Jessie Mae Guthrie; and sister-in-law, Annie B. Matthews.
She leaves to cherish her memories, her daughter, Joyce “Elaine”; granddaughter, Erynn “Rebecca” Hampton; brothers, Robert (Betty) Matthews and Willie Matthews; godson, Ronald “Gregory” Mathews; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Sarah L. Carter's Funeral Home Southside is serving the family.