Loretta Mae (Stephens) Smith, 87, of Paragould, passed away Thursday, November 25, 2021. She was born December 2, 1933, to Jim Stephens and Nancy Belle Beaton Stephens.
Loretta graduated from Lafe High School at the age of 16. She was Homecoming Queen and that is when her future husband, Charles “Buddy” Smith saw the light. They were married December 24, 1952, by Russell Duffer; he had been Loretta’s school teacher.
Loretta and Buddy had a wonderful life together. They were married 68 years. They enjoyed traveling and visited all 48 contiguous states, along with Mexico and Canada.
Beech Grove Methodist Church played an important role in their lives. They attended Sunday’s and all special occasions. Loretta taught Sunday School Lady’s Class for a number of years and sometimes taught the children’s class. Loretta was a longtime employee at Belk.
Loretta always had a laughing sense of humor. She liked to make people laugh. Two ladies in the church said they loved her like a sister. At Nancy Reagan’s funeral it was said that she never thought anyone did wrong and that’s the way Loretta was. She would simply say, “Well maybe they couldn’t.”
Loretta was preceded in death by her parents and siblings, Arlene Ragle, Iva Jamison, Alma White, James “Ras” Stephens, Vernon Stephens, Thelbert Stephens, Eugene “Spike” Stephens, Wanda Gatewood, and Velma Smith.
Survivors include her husband, Charles “Buddy” Smith; sons and daughters-in-law, Stan and Angela Smith, Kelly and Elayne Smith; daughter and son-in-law, Charletta and Rusty Williams; grandchildren, Landon Smith, Cody Smith, Clayton Smith, Katey Sieber, Taylor Williams, and Hannah Williams; great-grandchildren, Bryndle Smith and Berkley Smith; sister, Catherine Gerdes; and sister-in-law, Lorene Stephens.
The family will receive friends Sunday, November 28, from noon until service time at Phillips Funeral Home. The funeral will begin at 2:00 p.m. at Phillips Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Linwood Cemetery.
J.W. Dial, Larry Gatewood, Farrell Roberts, Huck Oglesby, Don Tabor, and Steve Copeland will serve as pallbearers. Cloyce Boone and Gaylon Williams will serve as honorary pallbearer.
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