Sarah E. (Granny) Smith

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Sarah E. (Granny) Smith Obituary

Sarah passed peacefully into eternal life, her work on this earth concluded, on the morning of May 16, 2016. She was born to George and Nancy Millington on April 20, 1926 in Wapanucka, OK and was part of the epic Dust Bowl migration west, arriving in Bakersfield in 1934. Clothed in a "flour sack dress" and tagged with the nickname "carrot top", she attended Horace Mann Elementary and Fairfax Middle School before enrolling in Kern County Union High School in 1940. With the nations' involvement in World War II, however, she quit school and went to work. Her formal education would forever be put on hold.

Her experiences as a wife, mother and provider would begin with her marriage to James Crow and subsequent birth of her first child, Patricia, in 1946. When that union ended, she wed Johnny Griego in 1949 and during the early 1950's produced two sons: Mike in 1950 and Mark in 1953. With the death of her sons' father Johnny in 1954, Sarah, now age 28 and a single mother with 3 small children, faced the daunting task of raising her young family alone. Fate intervened when she met and married Gordon Smith in 1958. This union brought two more children into her life that Gordon was raising as a single father. As a blended family of Sarah's children and Gordon's daughter Colleen and son Gordie, the uniqueness of their relationship would be punctuated with the arrival of yet one more child - Sheila Renee Smith in 1959. Now with a family of eight, Sarah's journey of the next 56 years began with her working as a waitress for various restaurants including Michiners' Drive-in and Maitias' Basque Cafe.

Outgoing and personable, Sarah made many friends and as her family grew, she naturally assumed the roles of grandmother, then great-grandmother and proudly wore the mantle "Granny". Humble and God-fearing yet strong-willed and tenacious, she was fiercely loyal to her friends and protective of her family. She was blessed with and especially close to longtime neighbors Ethel and Elton Tubb and their daughter Vera Mae and her husband Tom (T.A.) Fites. Indeed they were Granny's extended family.

Sarah was preceded in death by her husband Gordon, brothers Richard and Sam Armentrout, cousin Dorothy Housing and most recently son Gordon W. Smith Jr.

Sarah is survived by daughters Patricia Tillman (Terry), Colleen Stiner (Mike) and Sheila Smith; also sons Mike Griego (Gloria), Mark Griego (Alice), sisters: Esther Faux, June Salas, Wilma Golding, Shirley Dilbeck; and brothers Jimmy Armentrout and Dave Millington; along with many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Graveside service is Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at Hillcrest Memorial Park, 10a.m.

Published in Bakersfield Californian on May 22, 2016
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