The funeral service will be held at 1:00 P.M., Monday, January 27, 2020 at Union Hill A.M.E. Church, 370 Will Spivey Street, Ellaville, Georgia. Burial will follow in Galilee Cemetery, Ellaville, Georgia.
Elizabeth Smith, 92, returned to the Lord peacefully at home on January 24, 2020. Born into a loving and God-fearing home to the late Masco and Vera Swans in Schley County, Georgia, Elizabeth Swans Smith entered the world on February 6, 1927 born number 12 of 19 children. Elizabeth received her formal education from Spring Hill Elementary School where she completed her schooling in eighth grade. In 1946, following in the footsteps of her older sisters, Elizabeth moved north to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The loving bond of the Swans family kept the siblings together for years through worship, travel, and annual gatherings to honor their late father’s wishes.
In 1958, she married the love of her life, Bennie Smith. Raised to love and worship the Lord, Mrs. Smith found her forever church home at Mt. Pleasant Primitive Baptist Church in Philadelphia, where she has been a faithful member in the 1970s. In 1955, she began working for the Pennsylvania State Mental Hospital; while there she integrated the hospital staff as the first African-American Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). She stayed at the hospital for 32 years until her retirement in 1987. Following the passing of her beloved husband and her retirement, Mrs. Smith moved back home to Ellaville, Georgia in 1988. Elizabeth Smith loved and was loved deeply by anyone around her. She had a sharp tongue and soft laugh, and you never had to wonder what was on her mind.
Elizabeth is survived by her loving daughter Berlaine Smith Melton; two doting granddaughters Davonne and Alaina Reaves; one great-grandson Jamir MichaelDavid Reaves; her sisters Emily Ruff, Clara Davis, Mavis Settles, Mary Belle Davis, Bertha Mae Sales (Joseph), Mildred Brooks, and brother Martine Swans(Mary); brother-in-law Menzion Smith; and more cousins, relatives, and friends than numbers can count. She was preceded in death by her parents Masco and Vera Swans; her devoted daughter Sandra Lynette Swans; Billie Joyce Farrior and siblings Ozell Alridge, John Swans, Bennie Swans, Eva Mae Blackshear, and Christine Wilkerson.
Elizabeth Smith would be the first to tell you that “love ain't what you say, but what you do.” The family would like to extend sincere appreciation for the love, prayers, visits, and acts of kindness during this time of bereavement. Many thanks to Mrs. Pearlie Collins, a dear, lifelong friend who always saw about Mrs. Smith, her longtime physician Dr. John Marshall, and the loving, caring staff at Perfect Care and Phoebe Sumter Hospice.