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Lela Smith

Carlisle, AR, 1910 - 2012

Lela Smith, 101, formerly of Jonesboro and then of Carlisle, passed away peacefully in Carlisle on October 10, 2012 at the age of nearly 102. She lived in Jonesboro with her family from 1946 until 2008, when she moved to Carlisle to be near her son, Bill. Lela was born on October 28, 1910 on her family's farm on Big Creek in Shannon County, Missouri. She was one of six children, of whom she was the last survivor. Lela was married to Professor W. L. Smith of Arkansas State University, who died in 1982.
Lela is survived by two sons, Kenneth, a retired University of Arizona professor, of Pinetop, Arizona and James "Bill", a dairy farmer near Carlisle; seven grandchildren, Belinda Horton, James Smith and Susan Smith of Carlisle, David Smith of Show Low, AZ, Paul Smith of Tucson, AZ and Debra Smith of Hixson, Tenn. as well as five great-grandchildren.
Lela came from a family that lived in a home where water was carried from a spring in a bucket; heat was provided by a wood stove and light was from a kerosene lamp. Transportation and machinery power were by horse or mule. Her father built a one-room school on the farm for the children on Big Creek. Lela finished high school in Elsinore, Missouri, attended ASU and was a member of Phi Mu Sorority. Lela was active in the Jonesboro and ASU community and will be missed by her family and many friends there.
Funeral services will be Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 11 a.m. at Jonesboro Memorial Park Cemetery with Rev. Patty Soward officiating. Burial will follow under the direction of Gregg-Langford Bookout Funeral Home. Personal condolences may be sent to the Smith family at

Published October 12, 2012

Gregg Funeral Home
300 West Matthews Avenue, P.O. Drawer 1850, Jonesboro, AR
Phone: 870-935-5566