Barbara Paul Smith, 83, of Hartwell passed away at her home on March 31, 2014. Barbara Paul Smith, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and teacher was born on December 2nd, 1930, in Lexington, Georgia. She was the daughter of the late William Thomas Paul and Cynnie Pass Paul.
As a child of the Great Depression, Barbara Paul Smith knew what it was like to do without and yet she had a keen appreciation for the simple things in life. She inherited this appreciation from her mother and father who prayed and gave thanks daily that God would care for, strengthen, and provide for the needs of their family. Through her parents' faith, she learned to endure many hardships and to rely on Christ. Her priority lay in helping those around her.
She attended Oglethorpe County Schools, Reinhardt College, and graduated from the University of Georgia in 1951. She cared deeply for her parents, her husband, her children, and grandchildren. Her strong faith served as a source of strength to those who knew her.
Barbara Paul Smith began her teaching career in Oglethorpe County at Meson Academy in August 1951 where she taught fifth grade for 1 ½ years. From 1953 – 1982 (29) years, she taught for the city of Atlanta at Whiteford, Anne E. West, and Peterson Elementary schools. After retiring from Atlanta City Schools, Barbara Paul Smith continued to teach for an additional 16 years in North Fulton County at Dolvin Elementary School. After retirement in 1998, she continued to teach as a substitute teacher in Hart County Schools. She helped with the after school program at North Hart Elementary School, along with substituting throughout all of Hart County. Over all, she taught a total of 52 ½ years for the state of Georgia. Her service in education was honored on April 4, 2005, by Governor Sonny Perdue. She was invited to the State capital and Gov. Perdue awarded her a "Half-Century in Teaching" commendation for all of her years of service in education for the state of Georgia.
She was a member of the Georgia Teacher Retirement system, as well as the Hart County Retired Educators' Association. She was an avid Georgia Bulldawg fan and rarely missed a day between the hedges when the Dawgs played. You would find her in Section 107, row 7, seat 23 every Saturday in Athens in the fall. She loved everything about the University of Georgia, especially the UGA football team. She adored Coach Ray Goff and Coach Mark Richt, both who have been especially kind and supportive to her during her fight. Coach Goff made a personal home visit and Coach Richt wrote several inspirational letters to her that incorporated his motto "Finish the Drill" and also Winston Churchill's "Keep Calm and Carry On" from WWII. Both of these mottos were Barbara's inspiration as she fought her battle with Lymphoma.
Growing up, Barbara Paul Smith was a member of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church of Lexington, Georgia, and later married there. Her membership was transferred to Alpharetta First United Methodist Church and she attended the First United Methodist Church in Hartwell.
Barbara Paul Smith was preceded in death by her parents William Thomas Paul and Cynnie Pass Paul, and her brothers William Thomas Paul, Jr. and James Albert Paul. She is survived by her husband of 61 years John Wade Smith, Jr.; son and daughter- in- law, John William Smith and June Fincher Smith; Ethan Wade Smith and Clayton William Smith of Monroe, GA: son and daughter- in- law, Robert Jason Smith and Paula Pass Smith; Robert Connor Smith and Hunter Van Smith of Lexington, GA; and daughter, Barbara Lynn Smith of Athens, GA.
Funeral services will be Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 1:00 PM at Vesta Baptist Church, 35 New Hope Vesta Road (at intersection with Hwy 77 North) with Rev. Russell Bruce officiating. Interment will follow at Burt's United Methodist Church, Veribest Enterprise Road (at intersection with Hwy 77).
The family will receive friends Wednesday from 6:00 until 8:00 pm at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers the family is requesting that donations be made to The Cancer Foundation of Northeast Georgia, a non-profit that provides financial assistance to Athens area cancer patients. Donations should be mailed P.O.Box 49309 Athens, GA 30604 or visit www.cfnega.org.
Lord and Stephens, EAST, Athens, is in charge of arrangements.
Lord & Stephens Funeral Home - East Chapel
4355 Lexington Road Athens, GA 30605
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Apr. 2, 2014