On Thursday, June 21, 2018, around 4:00 p.m. Mother Lillian Smith quietly slipped away leaving behind all worldly cares. Mother Lillian Smith is the fourth child of the 11 children born to the late John Foxworth and the late Mary Ida Alford Foxworth, on May 28th, 1920, in Marion, South Carolina. Lillian grew up loving school and preferring to work inside the house as opposed to working outside on the family farm. She grew up with three sisters and seven brothers; today only two of the 11 remain: 2 of the boys. Mother Smith reached her 98th birthday on May 28th, 2018.
Education & Work: As a youth, she and her siblings were able to walk to school since the family resided in the town of Marion and in close proximity to the schools: Marion Elementary School and Marion County Training School, later renamed for one of its black principals – Journigan High School from which, Mother Smith graduated in 1938. During the same year, she married Orum Smith and to that union 8 children were born, the first three of which died as infants. In 1943, after living in Latta, South Carolina, Orum, Lillian, and their infant son Harold moved to Rowland where Mr. Orum Smith opened a new business – Smith’s Shoe Shop on Main Street. It was in Rowland where Orum and Lillian Smith reared their five children and united with Mt. Tabor Baptist Church sometime in 1944 or 1945. After having a short career in the practical nursing field Mother Smith decided to take a job at the Converse Shoe Factory and retired after 20 years of dedicated service in 1985. Shortly thereafter Mother Smith decided to move to Raleigh and worked at the North Raleigh Wal-Mart for 10 years as a well-respected greeter.
Church Affiliation: During her youth Lillian Foxworth joined St. John Methodist Church in Marion, South Carolina, where she remained an active member until she and her husband, Orum Smith married and moved to Rowland, North Carolina. Early in their Rowland years, they became active members of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church where he became a Deacon and Sunday School Superintendent and where she became a participant in the church choirs, Usher Board, Missionary Circle, Sunday School, and Deaconess Board. She became an active worker in fund raising and other church events. Down through the years, she made sure that her children actively attended Sunday school and church and that they participated in all areas of the church. Now that they are adults, they continue these Christian values with their families. Since the spring of 1990, Mother Lillian Smith as been a watch care member of Poplar Springs Christian Church in Raleigh, NC 27603. There she was active in the Missionary Ministry, the Senior Ministry and the Deacon’s Wives Ministry as well as in church fund raisers including our beautiful stain glass windows. Mother Smith attended Sunday school when she was able.
Christian Character Strengths: Lillian F. Smith is a born-again Christian, and was an avid Bible study student, a great prayer warrior and prayer partner. Down through the years, she has been a true servant of God and man. In Rowland, Mother Smith was known for cooking meals and sharing them with the sick and elderly and/or those less fortunate than herself. She was also known to have assisted with paying a delinquent rent, or utility bill for some who approached her in confidence.
Survivors: Her children: three sons Harold (Ella) of Raleigh, NC; Marshall (Orenthia) of Philadelphia, PA; and Michael O. Smith of Winston-Salem, NC; one daughter Vivian Elaine Smith Love of Winston-Salem, NC. She also leaves to mourn five grandchildren and 8 great-great grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews.
The family acknowledges with appreciation, all prayers, all acts of kindness, words of encouragement, and sympathy extended during the illness and passing of our mother. May God bless each of you. A special thank you to our mother’s care team Ms. Evangeline Sanders and Ms. Tanya Cox.
Rejoice…for great is your reward in heaven.