August 7, 1931 ~ May 11, 2019

Born in: Buncombe County, NC
Resided in: Fletcher, NC

Jean Austin Smith, 87 went to her Heavenly home and to be reunited with her loving husband, on Saturday, May 11, 2019.

A native of Buncombe County, she was preceded in death by her parents, Glen and Bernice Austin; her husband, Kenneth C. Smith, Jr. who died in 2016; a sister, Mary Chason as well as a brother, Allen Austin.

A 1954 graduate of Berea College, Jean taught with Buncombe County Schools for over 25 years.

She is survived by one daughter, Beckie Davis (Kenneth) of Mills Rivers; one son, Kenneth A. Smith (Karen) of Horse Shoe as well as three grandchildren, Amanda Davis of Kannapolis, NC, Austin Davis (Kailey) of Charlotte, NC and Kenneth Smith, Jr. of Horse Shoe.

A service celebrating Jean’s life will be held at 6:00 PM, Saturday May 18, 2019 at Etowah Baptist Church. The family will receive friends Saturday at the church from 5:00 to 6:00 PM prior to the service. Burial will be private.

The family graciously asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to MRLEC, c/o Mills River United Methodist Church, 137 Old Turnpike Road, Mills River, NC 28759.

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.


Celebration of Life: May 18, 2019 6:00 pm

Etowah Baptist Church
6508 Brevard Road
Etowah, NC 28729


Visitation: May 18, 2019 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Etowah Baptist Church
6508 Brevard Road
Etowah, NC 28729


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  1. My condolences on the passing of your Mama. She was always so good to me and I enjoyed spending time at your home when we were growing up. XXooX

  2. Our condolences on the passing of your Mother. We knew both Jean and Kenneth from MRLEC. Our life is richer having know this wonderful, sweet lady.

  3. Beckie and family, I never had the chance to meet her, but I know from stories you told how much she was loved. My condolences to you and I pray that you feel God’s arms holding you during this difficult time.

  4. We are very sorry for your loss and will be praying for you and your family during this difficult time.

  5. Ken and Becky& family. So sorry to hear of Jean’s passing. The memories that you made will be treasures that will keep your Mother in your lives forever. Prayers for peace and comfort.
    Phil and Joyce Dover Evans

  6. Certainly was a strong Christian woman who raised a strong Christian son, Ken. He and Karen have enriched our lives; they even “adopted” us as alternative “parents”!

  7. Mrs Smith was my teacher in the 5th grade at Emma School She was a wonderful person and a teacher I am sorry Ken to hear of her passing May she Rest In Peace

  8. Ken and family. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Mother. I remember her giving me a recipe for a delicious squash casserole. She and your Dad always made everyone welcome at your house. I will be keeping you all in my prayers. Much love to all of you.

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