The Bible, in Matthew, declares that all who are tired and heavy burdened should take their rest and come to be with God in heaven.
Phyllis Prince Smith peacefully heeded that call of God on Wednesday morning, January 17, 2018.
Phyllis was born in Newnan on September 28, 1946 and was the only child of the late Philip N. and Reba Wortham Prince. The pattern for her life was formed early on as she accepted Jesus at the age of 12 while attending East Newnan Baptist Church.
She graduated from Newnan High School in the class of 1964. Always being an avid reader, it was a natural fit for her to pursue a major in English as she entered college. She graduated from West Georgia College in 1968.
Also, in 1968, knowing that she had found a wonderful life partner. She and Robert Larry Smith were married on June 22.
Theirs would be an amazing story of love. They would find joy beyond compare in their role as parents and grandparents. So much of their lives would be fulfilling by being a vital part of their activities jointly, as well as, those things they did as individuals.
Knowing the importance of bonding as a family, their trips to the beach were a great part of their lives and eagerly anticipated by their children and grandchildren.
Phyllis was a dedicated English teacher at Newnan High School. There is no measure of the lives she impacted in her 32 years in the classroom. She was a vital part of the extracurricular activities at NHS. She taught accelerated English to students with exceptional abilities.
The academic bowl teams benefitted from her guidance. At the same time, she was sponsor for Tri-Hi-Y, a service club that promoted high standards of Christian character.
Outside the classroom, she was a member of ADK, an international organization for female educators.
Phyllis’ faith was firmly grounded in First Baptist Church of Moreland. She and Larry taught Sunday school in their younger years. They were faithful members of the choir. She was a willing volunteer for programs like VBS or serving on the church hostess’ committee.
Phyllis had a strong creative instinct and for many years she and Larry would craft beautiful designs in silk flowers that they would show at both Powers’ Crossroads and The Cotton Pickin’ Fair, as long as Larry’s health permitted.
Life would not be without its challenges for the Smiths. For over 20 years, she would assume the most challenging role of her life as Larry’s health issues became to define their lives together. She was steadfast as his advocate, tireless as his caregiver and honored that she could assume these, at times, overwhelming responsibilities. She did this with great love for her husband, knowing that God had prepared her for this crucial role.
One could not tell the story of Phyllis’ life without mentioning her four-legged children. She loved Yorkies and Westies – a lot! As her own health issues came to the forefront, her Yorkie “Rascal” was forever there by her side. Mention must be made of her rescue cat Maddie, another cast member in her four-legged menagerie.
Phyllis knew that the call of God in her life would prepare her for the responsibility as “Mama”, “Granny” or “Nini.”
Her life was an example of love for her daughters, Kimberly Pelletier and her husband, Joe, and Stacey Henderson and her husband, Kevin. And, oh, how she loved her grandchildren – Josh Pelletier, Daniel Pelletier, Eric Henderson and Matthew Henderson. She was a beloved sister by marriage to Richard Smith and Gail Carroll (and Len).
Phyllis’ family will receive friends at McKoon Funeral Home on Friday evening, January 19 between 6-8 p.m. Her life of love and family will be remembered in a service in the chapel of McKoon Funeral Home on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 2 p.m. to be led by her pastor, Todd Slade, and family friend, Reverend Joey Perry. She will be laid to rest beside her beloved husband in the historic Southview Cemetery in Moreland.
Phyllis’ great faith served her well, even through her illness. She would be the first to remind her family that “things work out the way they are supposed to.”
The life story of this strong woman of God has not ended, though. It will be told time and time again for many years to come in the lives of those she loved and for whom she set a fine example. This example would be evident in the good times of life, but also, facing life’s ultimate challenge in a graceful manner, always thankful for His guidance in her life and the promise of His blessed assurance.
McKoon Funeral Home, 770-253-4580