April 4, 1916 ~ August 8, 2012

Born in: Buncombe Co.,
Resided in: Leicester, NC

Bessie McElreath Smith, 96, of 435 North Turkey Creek Road, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, August 8, 2012, at John F. Keever, Jr. Solace Center. A native of Buncombe County, she was preceded in death by her husband, Clinton J. Smith and was the daughter of the late Rev. Fate and Hester Teague McElreath. She was also preceded in death by four sisters, Gladys, Lucy, Grace and Alma; three brothers, Earl, Frank and Lester, and a son-in-law, David Ray Bishop. Mrs. Smith was a faithful member of Beulah Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school and sang in the choir until her health declined. She worked many years in the cafeterias at Leicester Elementary School and Erwin High School. She enjoyed working in her flower garden, enjoyed southern gospel music, and was the mother of the Smith Family Singers. She was a devoted mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother who loved her family dearly. A wonderful Christian woman, she set a great example for her family. She was a great Christian witness to all she came in contact with and wanted to tell everyone about "my Jesus". Mrs. Smith's favorite quote was John 14, 1-3: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." Mrs. Smith is survived by her four daughters and their husbands, Sarah Ann and Joe Stevens, Marlene and Dan Weaver, Linda and Mack Brooks, and Ruby and Earl Wolfe; three sons and their wives, Jack and Betty Smith, Ronnie and Dorothy Smith, and Rev. Bobby and Sharon Smith; ten grandchildren and their spouses, Deborah and Ken McCurry, Danny and Penny Stevens, Diana and Howell Pegg, Tricia and Curtis Wallace (fiancé), Jackie and Johnny Sparks, Rev. Ricky and Chrissy Wolfe, Kim and Greg Jones, Jayme and Janelle Smith, Timmy Smith, Matthew and Natalie Smith; great-grandchildren, Brittney, Allison, Shelley and Michael (fiancé), Lindsey and Drew, Brian and Christine, Michael, Patrick, Preston, Lauren, Tyler, Madison, Ashlyn, Dylan, Austin, Allie Grace, Gabriel, Aiden and Hunter; two great-great-grandchildren, Peyton and Jaden; three sisters-in-law, Helen McElreath, Edith Miller and Frankie Ingle; and several nieces and nephews. A celebration service will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday at Beulah Baptist Church with the Rev. Claude Surrett, Rev. Bobby Smith (son), and Rev. Ricky Wolfe (grandson) officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Pallbearers will be Danny Stevens, Patrick Redden, Johnny Sparks, Greg Jones, Jayme Smith, and Matthew Smith. Honorary pallbearers will be grandsons and great-grandsons. Her family will receive friends from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Friday at Groce Funeral Home on Patton Avenue. Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to CarePartners Hospice, PO Box 25338, Asheville, NC 28813, or to Beulah Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, 373 North Turkey Creek Road, Leicester, NC 28748. Mrs. Smith's family expresses sincere appreciation to the staff and chaplains at St. Joseph Hospital and CarePartners Hospice for their loving care and guidance.

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Guestbook

  1. I had not been able to keep up with any of you except Jackie who was in my class, but I want you all to know that I am very sorry for your loss and realize that not many families like yours still exist today. Your mother was lucky to have such devoted caretakers and I hope your memories of her long life will be a comfort. Deepest sympathy, Lovella Foster Rathgeber

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  2. What a blessing it was to get to be with the Smith Family at Beulah for precious years. You ALL have given so much love and care for Mrs. Smith for so many years. We know there is rejoicing in Heaven going on now for the celebration. We Love you all.

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  3. To the Smith family, Our prayers are with you for the loss of your mother. We have fond memories of our friendship and fellowship with all of you. May God’s grace fill your hearts and supply every need; when time is over, we’ll all be together again. God bless you all.

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  4. Dear Smith Family,
    You are in our thoughts and prayers. We pray God’s blessings for you as you grieve the loss of your mother.

    Reply
  5. Dear Marlene and Dan and all you children of the best mother anyone could ever have, we are sad because of your loss here. You all loved her with deep devotion and care and she knows that. We just look forward to seeing that new body shortly. Much love, Marie

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  6. My thoughts and prayers are with each of you during this hard time. But what a homecoming your sweet Mother has had, to be able to see her Savior and all the family that has been waiting and watching for her to come home. I can only imagine the joy that she has today. Love, Kathy Parks and family

    Reply
  7. Dear Smith Family,
    I was sorry to hear about the loss of your Mother. I know how all of you have taken care of her these past years. You are a loving family. I know you will grieve for the loss but heaven is even brighter now. I think of you all often and may God bless all of you.
    Ronnie & Lesa Baldwin

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  8. Dear Smith Family, you are so special to us. My grandmother, Maude Sharpe, was born in Feb 1916, and she always enjoyed getting a card from Mrs. Smith, and delighted in sending her a birthday card in April. What dear friends thru the years you all have been. Mrs. Smith was truly a Proverbs 31 woman. May God comfort and strengthen you.

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  9. We were sorry to hear of your loved ones passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this time.
    James & Elizabeth Wells
    Tamara Wells

    Reply
  10. Smith Family:
    We are so sorry to hear of Bessie’s passing but we also know that Bessie is singing in Heaven today. So many memories of growing up in Beulah Church listening to her testifying and singing songs of praise. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with each one of you during this time.

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  11. Smith Family, Your Mom is in the arms of God. I know you will greatly miss her. For 13 Years you have put your lives on hold to take care of her i know you don’t regert a minute of it. you have my deepest sympathy. May God comfort your hearts as only he can. You are in my prayers. I love you dearly.
    Betty Daves

    Reply
  12. We are so sorry to hear about Aunt Bessie. She will really be missed by the whole family for sure. All of you have been so faithful in caring for her the last few years.
    Our prayers are with you and we wish we could be there in this time of bereavement. Teresa and Janet and families send their regards. Love, C. D. & Hiawatha

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  13. Family, Cousin Bessie was a wonderful Christian. You have our Deepest Sympathy during this time. Sorry we cannot be there due to sickness. You are in our prayers. God Bless you all.

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  14. Dear Smith Family,
    We were sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. Although we did not know her we know she was a special loving Christian lady and she is with her Lord now. You all were so devoted to her and caring for her and she was fortunate to have the loving care from each of you. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all at this time. May God give you the peace and comfort at this time.

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  15. So sorry for the loss of your dear sweet mother. What a blessing she was to anyone that knew her.While she is praising her Lord in heaven, you have that blessed assurance of a glad reunion day! Our thoughts and prayers have been with each of you during this time.

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  16. Smith Family,
    We were sorry to hear of the loss of your mother, but we all know well that she is in the arms of the Lord, singing all over heaven.
    Love,
    Johnny and Melissa

    Reply

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