Florence Veronica “Ronnie” Smith was born May 17, 1940 in New York City, New York to Howard L. Kelly and Gerimine Earnell Lincoln Kelly. She was the eldest of six children raised In Queens, New York.
Ronnie attended Public School (PS 116), Junior High School 40, graduated from Martin Van Bureau High School and, a few years later, graduated from the Joint Disease (now Helene Fuld School of Nursing). Ronnie worked over 40 years in senior care at the Oceanview Nursing Home in Far Rockaway, NY and the A.H. Patterson Nursing Home in Long Island, NY. She also worked part time at several other nursing homes in the Rockaways. As a strong believer in education, she later attended Nassau Community College while balancing life as adevoted mother, nurse, and church leader.
From birth, Ronnie attended H. Kelly Temple Church of God in Christ (formerly Mt. Olivet Church of God in Christ), under the leadership of her father, Elder Howard L. Kelly. She worked and was devoted to the Youth, Women’s groups (local and district), the Hospitality Department, and the Music Department. She had an anointing to lead the congregation in song with her powerful voice and notable piano skills. With a never-ending hunger and desire to study the word of God, Ronnie attended the O. M. Kelly Bible School under the direction of Bishop Frank O. White in Freeport, NY. She also attended the Guiding Light Bible Institute directed by Dr. F. Thompson.
After the passing of her father and until her move to the DC area, she served at the Community Church of God in Christ in Far Rockaway, NY, under Pastor Moses Green, for approximately 8 years. When seeking a home church in Maryland, she was introduced by a friend to the God Glorified Church of God in Christ in Takoma Park, MD. She enjoyed worshipping there for approximately 1 year under the leadership of Pastor Gray. Desiring to worship even closer to her residencein Silver Spring, MD, she was led to the Rainbow Family Christian Center, where Reverend Horace Drumming is the Senior Pastor and where she enjoyed serving and fellowshipping with a loving church family for most of the past decade.
A ten-year marriage to Willie A. Smith, Jr. (1960-1970), blessed Ronnie with four lovely children who are left to cherish her memory: Willie A. Smith, III (wife - Nancy), Sabrina, Direthea, and Aaron (wife - DeAnna). She also leaves 9 grandchildren, 1 great-granddaughter, 5 siblings, a host of nieces and nephews, neighbors, friends and loved ones who will miss her greatly.