Mary (Lewis) Smith

Obituary of Mary L. (Lewis) Smith

God has given us many stars to shine; many flowers to bloom; many friends to cherish; but only one mother to remember. 

            Mary L. Smith nee Lewis was born in June, 1944 to Marvin Lewis and Corean Elizabeth Lewis nee Adams of Mckenney, Virginia.  She was number eight of the "baker's dozen;" eleven girls and two boys.  She was a wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister and friend. Mary transitioned on September 2, 2021.

 

            Coming from a family that stressed the importance of education, Mary attended Southside High School, Dinwiddie, Virginia, graduating in June, 1962.  Following family tradition, after graduating high school, she travelled north in search of employment opportunities, settling in Brooklyn. Almost immediately after her move to Brooklyn she was gainfully employed in the private sector. After several years in private industry, she secured a position at Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY) as Administrative Assistant. Mary was a strong proponent of education.  This position afforded her the opportunity for a tuition-free education with a bonus!  Not only would she get a tuition-free education, her favorite sister (who remains anonymous), also worked there. She enrolled in classes immediately.

 

            Her tenure at Hunter lasted approximately two years subsequent to meeting the man who would become her husband.  God brought Mary to her husband through a very dear sister one fun night in New York… Mary and two of her sisters were celebrating a birthday when a young man asked one of the sisters to dance. She obliged. While dancing, he shared a few things about himself and stated he was looking for a wife; she suggested introducing him to her sister, Mary. They met. That young man was Willie Smith, fondly known as "Smitty." The rest is history.

 

            It was not long after their meeting and a brief engagement Mary and "Smitty" decided to wed. The wedding was beautiful with full support and participation from family and friends. They continued their residency in Brooklyn for a few years before relocating Maryland. After a few years in Maryland, they started a family. God blessed them with two daughters: Tara and Kia.

 

With God at the center of her life and her husband by her side, they found a church home for spiritual growth and community. Faith Temple #2 under the leadership of Bishop L.N. Forbes welcomed Deacon Willie and Sis. Mary. Both were very actively involved in Bible learning and church activities. The Smith family would later join Jabbok Christ-Centered Ministries under the pastorship of Harold L. Wilder (a Faith Temple #2 son) and continued support of Faith Temple #2 under the leadership of Pastor LaVaughn Hughes, Sr & First Lady Felecia Hughes. It was early 2000s when the Smith family joined & remain very active with the First Baptist Church of Glenarden (FBCG) ministries under the leadership of Pastor and First Lady John K. and Trina Jenkins. An active member of the FBCG Epistle Ministry for many years, Mary Smith touched the hearts of those in the ministry and those she wrote to send encouragement and smiles all over the world!

 

            Mary was a compassionate, woman of God. Mary was high-energy, always smiling or laughing. And she loved encouraging and talking with people. Beginning her Administrative Assistant career working with students and faculty at Howard University during the early eighties in the School of Medicine was a great match for her personality and heart. She remained there until the beginning of the next decade when she took a job with the Howard University College of Pharmacy. She spent most of her years at Howard working in the College of Pharmacy Student Affairs. Mary was like a doting, loving mother to the students. She listened to them and genuinely cared about their well-being, offering support (in her very own way) & encouraging words whenever necessary. Mary (and her husband) were especially very proud that both of their daughters became Howard University Bisons and graduated with Honors.

 

            Although she retired from the University, her dedication never ceased. She became an active member of the College of Pharmacy Alumni Association, and she enjoyed sharing her God-given gifts of leadership and encouragement with students and colleagues. As HU Pharmacy Alumni Leader expressed: Mrs. Mary Smith’s dedication and passion for student success was shown through her tireless commitment to the College of Pharmacy and the Howard University Pharmacy Alumni Association (HUPAA). She was a mother figure to all that passed through the halls of Chauncey Cooper building. After Mrs. Smith's retirement from the University, she continued her invaluable service to the college by volunteering as an active member of HUPAA Executive Board. As an essential member to the executive board, she continued her unwavering service to the alumni until she stepped down in 2020; Continuing to serve long after she retired from Howard University. She was the nucleus of the association and garnered support for alumni through her assistance in scholarship fundraising efforts and events uniting pharmacy alumni, faculty, and staff for one common goal. Her encouragement, guidance, and support propelled many alumni to become the pharmacists and community leaders they are today. And the former president of HUPAA shared this reflection: "If Mrs. Smith called you to support something, you didn't ask questions, you did it as if it was your mother calling you."

 

            Mary was preceded in death by her beloved husband and three sisters (Eileen Gist, Beatrice Toots, Ruth Drumgoole). Left to cherish her memories are two children: Tara Smith and Kia Gilmore (Aquila); four grandchildren whom she loved larger than life itself: Natalie, Nia, Noelle and William Gilmore; siblings and in-laws: Bernice Sigler; Eula "Jo" Best (Jimmy); Betty Smith, Catherine Lawson, Charlotte McKenzie (Robert); Marvin Lewis (Melvinie); Carolyn Simms (Will); Clarence Lester Lewis (Gwendolyn); Marsha Lewis; twenty-two nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews and numerous cousins and friends.

 

Prayerfully submitted

Tuesday
21
September

VIEWING (PUBLIC)

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
First Baptist Church of Glenarden - Ministry Center
3600 Brightseat Rd
Landover , Maryland, United States
301-773-3600
Tuesday
21
September

CELEBRATION OF LIFE (PRIVATE)

11:00 am
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
First Baptist Church of Glenarden - Ministry Center
3600 Brightseat Rd
Landover , Maryland, United States
301-773-3600
Share Your Memory of
Mary