Miss Ann Elaine Smith passed peacefully away after a short illness on Friday, April 14 at the long-time family home where she was born and raised. Visitation will be held from 5:00 - 7:00 PM, Monday, April 17 at Breeland Funeral Home in Canton, and on Tuesday from 10:00 AM until the 11:00 AM memorial service in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Canton. Immediate family members preceding her in death were her parents, Sylvanus (Van) Wheeler Smith, Sr., and Maggie Hobbs Smith; her sisters, Margaret Hobbs Smith, Mary Elisabeth Smith, and Frances Smith Norman and her husband, Morris; her brother Sylvanus Wheeler Smith, Jr., and his wife, Alberta; her beloved aunt Miss Fannie Lou Smith; nephew, Tom Morris Norman, and nephew-in-law, Dr. Earnest Gilmer (Gil) Spivey, Jr. Survivors of Miss Smith are her nephews, Jerry Van Norman (Sandra), and Spencer Ames Smith (Carolyn); nieces, Louise Norman Spivey, and Camille Smith Vinson (Sam); and many great-, great-great-, and great-great-great nieces and nephews. MIss Smith was born in Canton on November 21, 1927, and was educated in the Canton Public School System. She earned a Bachelors Degree in elementary education from Mississippi State College for Women (MSCW, now MUW) and a Master’s Degree from Mississippi College. Upon graduation from college, she accepted a position teaching 3rd grade in the Vicksburg Public School System. But it was at Ridgeland Elementary School where, after again teaching 3rd grade for a short time, she was promoted to school principal. She had found her calling. She made sure no child was left behind long before the catch-phrase became popular. Her concern for the welfare of every student was matched also by her strong support for each teacher and staff member. In recognition of her firm commitment and contribution to the community, upon her retirement the Madison County School District honored her by changing the name of Ridgeland Elementary School to the Ann E. Smith Elementary School. She has been known as “Miss Ann” to many generations of parents and children, and she called them by name when meeting them in the community. Her dedication extended also to her church of many years, Woodland Hills Baptist Church. With her sister-in-Christ, Jayne Woods, the two worked tirelessly to maintain Woodland Hills’ dedicated Missions House, where furloughed missionaries rested, planned and prepared for their return to the mission field. Many of her closest friends in life were missionaries whose Christ-honoring work she so admired and whose families were like her own. Her love and concern for children also sustained her commitment to support the work and ministry of the Baptist Children’s Village. In her memory, we humbly request that memorials be made to the Baptist Children’s Village via US mail to: The Baptist Children’s Village, P.O. Box 27, Clinton, MS 39060-0027, or give online at www.baptistchildrensvillage.com and click “Give Now.”
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