Ruth Smith

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  • "Lynda, your mother sounds wonderful. You have many lovely..."
    - Raylene Renfrow
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    - Judy Gentry-Mock
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    - Bonnie Busbee
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July 14, 1922 - December 29, 2011

Ruth Smith, age 89, beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, colleague and friend died on December 29, 2011 in Willis, Texas surrounded by her loving family. Ruth fought a courageous battle against heart disease and a devastating stroke to which she ultimately surrendered. She walked in grace, served well, spread much joy, fought hard and now rests in peace.

Ruth was born in the Nacogdoches area and was raised in Martinsville. She spent her early years on the family farm often commuting by walking many miles to Martinsville School and later attending the demonstration high school at Stephen F. Austin State Teacher's College in Nacogdoches. Her love of learning, education and reading followed her throughout her life and served her well as both career and meaningful past time.

Ruth exemplified the skills of the ultimate professional secretary and administrative assistant. She worked as secretary to the pastor at First Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, educational secretary at First Baptist Church in Beaumont, school secretary at Woodcrest Elementary, secretary to the Business Manager and finally served as secretary to the superintendent and school board of Port Neches I.S.D. until her retirement.

At the remarkable age of 76 she walked across the stage of Lamar University and received a Bachelor's degree with honors just 2 days after burying her husband "Smitty". Her co-workers in education and her church family were very dear to her and she was incredibly proud of her service as one of the church librarians, actively working there until her death.

Ruth is known for her sense of style, her beautiful hybrid tea roses, her home cooking, delicious pies, her snappy shoe wardrobe, a bit of sass, but mostly for her eagerness to help anyone anytime. Her greatest loves were her family and performing Christian service.

Ruth is preceded in death by a son Larry Commander, a grandson Daryn Degeyter, brother Rufus Smith, parents R. S. and Izora Smith, husbands Cecil Commander, Ralph Massey and Albert Floyd Smith.

Survivors include daughter, Lynda Degeyter (Marvin), son Darrell Commander (Sue), daughter-in-law Martha Commander, 2 brothers, 3 sisters, four grandchildren, five step grandchildren, four great grandchildren, four step great grandchildren, a number of nieces and nephews and a host of dear friends.

Services are scheduled for Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 1900 Magnolia in Port Neches, Texas with Dr. David Mahfouz officiating. Visitation will be held at Levingston Funeral Home, 2001 Nall Street in Port Neches on Monday, January 2, 2012 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to First Baptist Church Library, 1900 Magnolia, Port Neches, Texas 77651.

Published on from Jan. 3 to Jan. 17, 2012