Be the first to share your favorite memory, photo or story of
This memorial page is dedicated for family, friends and future generations to celebrate
the life of their loved one.
We ask on behalf of the family that you keep your comments uplifting and appropriate
to help all who come here to find comfort and healing.
Obituary for Mary Ann Smith
Sister Mary Ann Smith was born on March 2, 1931, in Daisy, GA to the late Mr. Garfield Lewis and the late Mrs. Mattie Lewis. Mary Ann was called from labor to reward on August 13, 2022. She was the second of five children and was preceded in death by her siblings, Johnny Lewis, Elizabeth Idlett, and Garfield Lewis, Jr.
Mary Ann received her formal education in the Evans County school system. She received her early church training at St. Luke Baptist Church in Daisy, Georgia. Mary Ann married the love of her life, James H. Smith, Sr., in 1956 and they were married for 56 years until his passing in 2015.
In the 1980’s, she decided to transfer her church membership to the United House of Prayer at Bellville, Georgia so that she could support her husband, Elder James H. Smith, Sr., who was the Assistant Pastor. While at the United House of Prayer, she served on the No. 1 Usher Board and served as the Cabinet Secretary. Mary Ann was blessed with very beautiful handwriting.
At times during scarce work in Claxton, Georgia, you would find Mary Ann working odd jobs to help supplement her husband’s income. She could be found working in people’s homes or working in the fields. She was very industrious and did not mind working. She ensured her children had clean clothes and were well fed. Mary was an excellent cook. She could bake cakes and pies, and fry chicken. Pound cakes and fruitcakes were among her specialties. Mary Ann was very concerned about her children’s education and made sure they would have a better life than she did. She would always check the report cards to see how her children were doing in school, as well as attend PTA meetings and meet with teachers regarding her children’s educational path.
Mary was blessed and enjoyed working a full-time job at the Claxton Manufacturing Company. Later, the opportunity presented itself for her to be able to retire early and she took advantage of it and became a housewife. Mary Ann did not sit still long. Soon she was found keeping her grandchildren, Sherri and Darius, as well as twin grandsons, Vernon and Mansan, and Raymond and Rabrius, for months at a time.
In 2012, due to her husband’s declining health, Mary Ann saw the need for she and her husband to relocate to Washington, DC to be closer to their sons and daughters. Upon relocating, her daughter-in-law Barbara Smith became the primary caregiver for she and her husband. Upon arriving in Washington, DC, Mary Ann transferred her membership to Charlotte Mission. While at Charlotte Mission, she joined The Adult Ushers Board to continue her financial and spiritual work. She made sure her offerings and dues were paid. Mary Ann stayed faithful to her spiritual leaders, Bishop (Sweet Daddy) McCollough, Bishop (Sweet Daddy) Madison and the current leader Bishop (Sweet Daddy) Bailey.
There was one thing that stayed on Mary Ann’s mind. That was the Annual Jacob Wilkinson Family Reunion held every year, the third Sunday in March. She would be excited to attend and would make sure that her dues were paid and encouraged her children to do the same. She was even more overjoyed that God had blessed her to become the matriarch (the oldest living descendant) of the family. Mary Ann truly loved her family, and her family loved her the same.
Mary Ann was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years Elder James Smith, Sr. and her oldest daughter Marva Robinson.
She leaves to cherish her memory four daughters: Ms. Ouida Dell Collins of Claxton, GA, Mrs. Gussie Murphy (Timothy) of Savannah, GA, Ms. Shelba Jean Edwards of Bryans Road, MD, and Ms. Mattie Sue Smith of Washington, DC; five sons: Mr. Johnnie Lee Lewis (Lita) of Las Vegas, NV, Mr. Herbert Lewis (Lois) of Claxton, GA, Elder James Smith, Jr (Barbara) of Washington, DC, Mr. Bobby Smith (Saundra) of Savannah, Ga, and Elder Terry Smith (Rhonda) of District Heights, MD; one brother, Mr. Lester Lewis (Freddie Mae) of Carteret, NJ; a special daughter-in-law, Ms. Jeannette Lewis of Claxton, GA; a special cousin, Ms. Doris Brown of Claxton, GA, a host of loving grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, cousins, other relatives and friends.