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Mary Laurette Smith, 95, Pisgah
Mary Laurette Smith, 95, of Pisgah died after a brief illness Aug. 5, 2012.
Born May 18, 1917, in Pisgah, she was the daughter of the late Albert Matthews and the late Gertrude Miller.
She graduated from Pomonkey High School and took classes she needed to get a job with the federal government. Her federal service lasted for more than 25 years and began at the Naval Powder Plant in Indian Head. She became a biological laboratory technician at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda and the Food and Drug Administration in Washington, D.C., until she retired Dec. 31, 1977.
She received Christ at Smith Chapel United Methodist Church in Pisgah when she was very young and became a lifelong active member. She was chairwoman of the church council, staff parish relations, homecoming, revival and fundraising committees and helped with The Silvertones. She was a member of the finance committee and the sanctuary choir. She found time to serve as the lay delegate to the Baltimore Washington annual conference of the United Methodist Church for more than 25 years.
She was affectionately known as “Mary L.,” “Laurette,” “Ret,” “Loretta,” “Miss Smith” and “Mama.” She enjoyed traveling and driving people on errands. She loved farming, gardening, cooking and dining at her favorite restaurants. She loved to entertain at her home, where her doors were always open to anyone for a meal.
She worked at the polls in primary and general elections and worked with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She served as an advocate for children, encouraging them to become educated so they could get good jobs. She believed in working and always committing to whatever one begins.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Clayton; daughter, Gertrude “Curly”; siblings, Bud, Dorothy and Thelma; grandson, Bryan; stepmother, Lillian; and cousin, Thelma “Mama Sis.”
She is survived by her daughter, Vera M. Littlejohn; grandsons, Kevin Diggs and his wife, Karen, Norman Diggs and James H. Littlejohn III; great-grandchildren, Manus, Shaprina, Darnell, Nathaniel and Danielle; great-great-grandchildren, Anthony, Kevon, Deandre, Uriah, Malachi, Elijah, Rylee and William; sisters, Florine and Sandra; brothers, Harold and William “Sonny”; many other relatives; and close friends, Celestine Smith, Dorothy Johnson Joyce Hurd, Francis Milstead, Mason “Buck” Proctor, Henry Franklin Smith, Heath Bowman and Joe Neal.
Visitation will be held from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 10 at Thornton Funeral Home, Pomonkey, and from 9 a.m. until time of service at 11 a.m. Aug. 11 at Smith Chapel United Methodist Church. Burial will take place at the church cemetery.