1936 - 2015 Mrs. Yea Tieng Lai Smith, 79, of Beaumont, Texas, passed away January 25, 2015. She was a former resident of Mobile, Alabama and Port Arthur, Texas. Born January 2, 1936 in Taiwan she had an extremely difficult childhood during a very tumultuous era in history for her native land. She spoke six languages and worked as a translator. She came to the United States in 1968 with her young son, Michael, and her husband Bill to live in his hometown of Mobile. Her life struggles continued in her new home and she quickly had to adjust to a new country and culture, completely foreign to her, with no family or friends in the beginning for support. In 1972 the family, with the addition of an infant daughter, Yea-Mei, relocated to Port Arthur, and once again she had to adjust to provide a good life for her family. In 1974, her youngest son, William Jr. was born and her husband's career as a Merchant Marine meant that she was the sole parent and care taker of three children much of the time in yet another new place. She taught her children the importance of hard work, self-sufficiency, discipline, humility, and honesty. She cared for and loved her husband and three children with her infamous strong-willed personality and high moral and ethical standards, spoiled and doted on her beloved grandchildren, made her home welcoming for friends and those of her children, and overfed every dog the family ever had. She was an incredible cook that did not let anyone leave her home hungry, mothered many of her children's friends throughout their lives when they needed her, and is the example to her children of a strong woman and mother. Yea Tieng was preceded in death by her husband of 38 years, William Joseph Smith, Sr. She is survived by her son Michael J. Smith and wife Heidi of Carrollton, Texas, daughter Yea-Mei Sauer and husband Casey of Beaumont, Texas, son William J. Smith, Jr. and wife Tam of New Orleans, Louisiana, and her most treasured joys, six grandchildren, Victoria, Kyle, Caroline, Hunter, Casey, Jr. (Little Bear), and Grace. Her children would like to thank Dr. Abochamh, Dr. Oszczakiewicz and his surgical team, Dr. Allen Williamson, and the tireless nurses at Christus St. Mary's CICU for their compassionate care of their mother, as well as family, dear friends, and colleagues for their prayers and love during this very difficult time. We grieve in proportion to our love.
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Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Jan. 29, 2015