Mrs. Nettie Mae Smith was born on October 16, 1925 in Baxley Georgia to Ida Henry Wooten and Richard Wooten. She was one of seven children born to that union. She and her brothers and sisters grew up in the country in a loving family, doing farm work and chores and attending the Appling County Schools. She lost her mother at an early age and was called on to fill the role of mother to her younger siblings, who as adults, always praised and thanked her for being a mother in their life.
She married William Henry Smith and eight children were born to their union. Her husband preceded her in death in the year 1997.
She lived her life as a working mother, always busy doing good deeds both inside and outside the home.
She accepted Christ at an early age and was joined in membership to Mount Olive Baptist Church in Baxley. Her father, the late Richard Wooten was a dedicated church leader and deacon at Mount Olive and he bestowed his gift of leadership, commitment and purpose upon his oldest daughter. Mount Olive was always close to her heart, and her dedication to God’s work influenced the many members and visitors who attended services over the years.
In the year 1995 she accepted the call to preach God’s Word and she delivered the word faithfully until the end. Among her many roles she served as Assistant Pastor at Mount Olive Baptist Church until her passing.
Minister Smith led a very busy and purposeful life. The last decades of her life were spent in many pursuits in addition to serving her family and church. She served on numerous boards and committees and spoke at many functions. She understood the importance of community involvement and had a heart and passion for uplifting the community.
She was especially dedicated to the work of the Progressive Resource Center in Baxley and spent many hours attending meetings, selling dinners, soliciting donations and doing what she could to keep the center going.
Minister Smith was preceded in death by three daughters: Sally Jean Riddick of Waterbury, Connecticut; Annie Dorothy Davis of Baxley, and Edna Merle Reaves of East Orange, New Jersey.
Also preceding her in death were two grandsons, Vincent Leonard Riddick and William Reggie Davis, one sister, Bonnell Marie Rogers, four brothers, Rev. Levi Wooten, Gilbert Wooten, Sampson Wooten and Ret. Master Sgt. Rufus Wooten, and three sons-in-law, Henry Robinson, Ronald Burkett, and Benjamin Davis.
She was a friend, advisor and mother to many in addition to her own children. Many in the family and the community sought her for prayer, sound advice and wisdom.
To cherish her memory she leaves: a son, William Henry Smith, Jr. of Baxley, four daughters, Shirley Robinson of Baxley, Ruby Ryals of Hephzibah, Verna Smith Walker of Dublin, and Jacqulyn Burkett of Surrency. She also leaves one daughter-in-law, Vanessa Smith, two sons-in-law, Vernon Riddick, Sr. of Waterbury, Connecticut, and Rickey Walker of Dublin. She was blessed with 20 grandchildren, 32 great grandchildren and 11 great-great grandchildren. She also leaves her last surviving sibling, her sister Ruby Lee Rooks, and her sister-in-law Alretta Wooten. Minister Smith was blessed with many special people in her life including two that she did not birth, but considered her as mother, Gloria Gilcrease and Joyce Keller, and long-time prayer partners, Rebecca Ogden, Carolyn Reaves and Tommy Beard, as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She will be remembered for her deep and abiding love of God and as a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend.
Funeral services were held at Old Field Memorial Gardens on Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. with the Rev. Anthony Banton Presiding and Rev. James B. Hayes giving the eulogy.
Active Pallbearers were Carlos Rooks Sr., Lorenzo Rooks, Darrin Wooten, and Horace Wooten.
Musical selections were rendered by Briana Hayes and Ryan Hayes.
Professional services were entrusted to C. M. Brown Funeral Home.