Nancy Gay Smithson, 48, of Atlanta died at home June 13, 2014. Nancy was born at Georgia Baptist Hospital in midtown Atlanta on Sept. 25, 1965. Nancy attended The Heiskell School and graduated from The Lovett School in Atlanta. She received her degree in Italian studies and Psychology with a minor in Music from The University of Georgia.
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Growing up, Nancy starred in many musicals at The Lovett School, where she was also a cheerleader and on the Homecoming Court. While at UGA, Nancy pledged Chi Omega and was an SAE Little Sister and Sweetheart. Nancy was very involved as an officer of the youth group and choir member at Northside Drive Baptist Church and Second Ponce de Leon Baptist in Atlanta. Nancy was known for her beautiful, angelic voice and exceptional performing talent. She is remembered by all who knew her as an extremely loved and vivacious young woman with a contagious smile and wonderful sense of humor.
After college, Nancy's adventurous spirit led her to Pisa and Florence, Italy, where she studied music and lived with an Italian family for two summers. Living in New York for two years, Nancy worked in the city and pursued music. She excelled in the real estate business, working for Lincoln Property Group in Atlanta, Seattle, and Las Vegas as well as serving as a public school teacher in Paulding County.
The pride and joy of Nancy's life were her two children, Wright, born in Atlanta in 1999, and Jackie, born in Atlanta in 2000. She committed every day of her life to their happiness and well-being. Nancy did not have a conversation without speaking of her love and pride for her children and their accomplishments. They were her world and she cherished them beyond words.
Her family remembers Nancy as a beautiful, caring spirit, who treasured her family. She loved nature, especially the safe haven of her father's family land in Mossy Creek, Ga. Nancy was an amazing athlete, excelling in water skiing, snow skiing, tennis, equestrian riding and swimming. She became known for her artistic apparel design with her company, Smithson Jeans. Her handcrafted designs have been worn by many famous musicians and artists across the country.
As a daughter, Nancy was an excellent, nurturing caregiver to her father, Jim Smithson, whom she loved with her heart and soul. To care for her father, Nancy and her children moved to Gainesville where she enrolled them in Lakeview Academy, a school that her father was most instrumental in starting.
Nancy fought courageously against multiple complicated illnesses, including ulcerative colitis, interstitial cystitis and a spinal neurological disorder. Despite the severe physical pain that she endured, Nancy did her best to stay positive for her children and family with her optimism, faith and uplifting nature. She was always there to give support, a hug or a good laugh to anyone that needed it.
Survivors include her children, Wright and Jackie Allen of Gainesville; her mother, Nancy Smithson Ginn of Atlanta; her brothers and sisters-in-law, Jay and Mary Smithson of Suwanee and Joe and Karin Smithson of Atlanta; her half-siblings, Eric and Lindsay Smithson of Gainesville, Jamie and Colby Smithson of Gainesville and Ashley Smithson of Gainesville; as well as nephews and nieces, James, Claire, Aaron, Peter, West, Elise, Hoyte and Wynn Smithson. Nancy was predeceased by her loving father, James Allen Smithson of Gainesville; and grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Virgil West of Atlanta, Mrs. Nell Smithson of Atlanta and Mr. Arthur Smithson of Syracuse, N.Y.
A memorial service will be held at Northside Drive Baptist Church, where Nancy was baptized as a child. Service will be held Thursday, June 19, at 3 p.m. with Pastor Lisa L. Graves as officiant. The family will receive visitors at the home of Karin and Joe Smithson following the service. In lieu of flowers, please contribute to Northside Drive Baptist Church, Lakeview Academy or the medical research center of your choice. Online condolences may be made at hmpattersonspringhill.com.
H.M. Patterson & Son, Atlanta
Published in gainesvilletimes.com from June 17 to June 18, 2014