Mary Mildred Crockett Smith, 83, passed away peacefully on Monday, February 18, 2019.
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Please join us in a celebration of her life at Midway Bible Church, Pelzer, SC, on Thursday, February 21, 2019. Visitation will be 12 noon with the funeral beginning at 1 pm. Graveside service will be at 3 pm at Graceland East Chapel on Woodruff Road, Greenville.
She was born in Grayson, Kentucky to John and Nancy Crockett on June 29, 1935. In 1952, she left home and went to Columbus, Ohio, where she met and married Bill Smith who preceded her to heaven in 1995.
She was a true 7th great-granddaughter of Davy Crockett and shared his fighting spirit. Leaving Kentucky, she worked in a laundry, then as a model for Lazarus Department Store. She survived cancer at the age of 19 and several other times throughout her life. She was blessed by cancer to achieve motherhood via adoption. She went to nursing school and earned her LPN and later her BSN and worked many years as a nurse at St. Anne’s and Mount Carmel East Hospitals in Columbus.
Bill and Mary moved their family to Greenville, SC in 1981. Soon Bill would become medically disabled, and Mary would do all she could to support the family: cleaning factories, private duty nursing, phlebotomy…Upon the passing of her husband, she started going on medical mission trips with VIMM. Soon, she felt called to go full-time to Uganda. She traveled the country raising funds and gathering equipment. She helped open medical clinics and an orphanage, but health issues would send her home too soon. Her body and mind would come home, but part of her heart would always be left behind in Africa.
Once she regained her health and jumped back in, she obtained her doctorate from OSU in pathology at the age of 69. She was able to work for one year as a pathologist in Dayton, Ohio, before cancer would surface again. In 2006, she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and told she had limited time again and again. Well, I did say she was a fighter.
She moved to Athens, Georgia, where she would “retire.” There she began a prayer group and continued to share the love of Christ to everyone she met.
One of the passages that would epitomize Mary’s life is Colossians 3:23-24, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”
She is preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Frank Saylers and Jessie Mullany; and brothers, Ernest Crockett, Howard Crockett, and John (Roy) Crockett; husband, Bill Smith; and son, Tim Smith.
She is survived by her daughter, Robyn (David) Douglas; daughter-in-love, Lorri Smith; step-daughter, Sharon Miller; grandchildren, David Peace, Chris Peace, Amber (Ben) Lewis, Ryan Smith, Marian Douglas, Will Douglas, Caitlin Douglas, and Joshua Douglas; great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. She is also survived by several honorary children and grandchildren, for everyone she was close to was invited to call her Mom or Nana.
As stated earlier, a piece of her heart stayed in Uganda. She was an encourager to several young ladies from Prince Avenue Baptist Church who would serve in Uganda. She had a special bond with Amy Washington, Founder & Executive Director at Kupendwa Ministries, serving Uganda with Mother/Child homes and village clinics. In lieu of flowers, we would love to collect donations for this ministry that was dear to her heart. Checks can be made out to “Kupendwa Ministries” 5671 Hog Mountain Road, Bogart, GA 30622. Or donate online at www.kupendwaministries.org, then go to the contact button and send a message saying you made a donation in honor of Dr. Mary Smith.