Anna Bess Stegall SmithEl Dorado, AR, 1918 - 2010
Anna Bess Stegall Smith passed away Tuesday, December 7, 2010, after recurring bouts with pneumonia. She was born October 27, 1918, near El Dorado in Union County, Arkansas. She was the third of nine children and the eldest daughter of Cleo Bessie Irby and Jesse Clyde Stegall. Her maternal grandparents were John William Harris Irby and Cleo Patra Beachum; her paternal grandparents were John Wilson Stegall and Melissa M. Trull.
As a child, Anna Bess attended Hopewelll School near her home. Her "Grandpa Irby" had donated the land for this school to be built on. She began her higher education at John Brown College (now John Brown University) at Siloam Springs, Arkansas, and continued it at Ouachita Baptist College (now Ouachita Baptist University) in Arkadelphia. She took her final year and graduated from Arkansas State Teachers College (now University of Central Arkansas) in Conway, with a major in home economics education.
Immediately after graduation she began teaching at Plainview, Arkansas. In the late 1940s she taught Home Economics at Bismarck, Arkansas. Over the ensuing years she also taught at St. Cloud, Florida, Harmony Grove near Camden, and at Willisville, Arkansas. She was an excellent, dedicated and popular teacher. Her subjects were earth science and home economics. During World War II, she participated in the war effort working in the lab at Brown and Root Oil Refinery in El Dorado.
In January, 1943, she married Faunt Biscoe Smith of Arkadelphia, whom she had met while attending Ouachita. Faunt was am officer in the U. S. Navy during World War II and the Korean Conflict, and she traveled with him to various locations where he was stationed, including New York City and the Panama Canal Zone. Faunt and Anna Bess then settled in Camden, Arkansas.
Anna Bess is survived by three children, Rebekah Cyphers and husband Andrew Cyphers, Faunt B. Smith Jr., and Melissa Smith; two grandsons, David A. Smith and Christopher M. Smith, a step-granddaughter, Andrea Cyphers; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m., Saturday, December 11, 2010 at Perry's Funeral Chapels in El Dorado with Rev. Ray Fields officiating. B urial will follow in Arlington Memorial Cemetery under the direction of Perry's Funeral Chapels. Visitation will be 6-8PM Friday, December 10, 2010, at Perry's Funeral Chapels. Online guest registry is www.perrysfuneralchapels.com.
Published December 10, 2010