Melba Lively Smart

January 15, 1927October 28, 2019

Melba Lively Smart was born in Grapeland, TX, at home January 15, 1927. She passed away October 28, 2019. She had 10 brothers and sisters and grew up in a home surrounded by a loving family. Melba married the love of her life, D.W. Smart of Fairfield, TX. On November 18, 1944. They lived in Grapeland until D.W. went into the Army in 1945. They had their first daughter, Sheilia, in September 1945 and had three more daughters, Charlotte, Sharon and Brenda. She and her family moved around many times following D.W. in the oil field. They moved to Palestine, TX, where Melba received her nursing license at the age of 35. The family moved to Ben Wheeler in November 1970 where Melba worked for Dr. Oglesby in Ben Wheeler and then worked at the Canton Nursing Home. She loved her career of nursing. Melba was a loyal member of the Van Zandt County Eastern Stars. She was a member of the Van lodge for many years.

Melba never met a stranger, she loved everyone and everyone loved her. Her greatest joy later in life was her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law: Sheilia and Robert Betterton, Charlotte Essary, Sharon and Alan Stehsel and Brenda Conner. She is also survived by her grandchildren: Dedra Crouch, Dina and Carlos Thompson, Deanna and Ricky Dougan, Gerald and Jennifer Essary, Wayne Essary, Bree and Scott Schock, Derrick Hammond, Shayna and Steven Horne and Marc and Rachel Conner. She has 25 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Melba is preceded in death by her parents, Eugene Claude Lively and Mary Ethel Denson Lively; her husband, D.W. Smart; her son-in-law, Harvey Essary; brothers and sisters: Marshall Lively, J.C. Lively, Lois Salter, Inez Duncan, Lillian Lively, Eugene Lively, Jr., Aubrey Lively, Lucille McDaniel, Preston Lively and Donald Lively.

She was taken to Eubank Funeral Home in Canton and her memorial will be 1 pm Friday, November 1, 2019, at Sunset Christian Church in Grapeland. Interment will be in Davis Cemetery in Grapeland. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. The grandchildren will serve as pallbearers.

Melba Smart will be remembered for her love of her family and friends but most especially for her ready smile.


  • Sheila & Robert Betterton, Daughter
  • Charlotte Essary, Daughter
  • Sharon & Alan Stehsel, Daughter
  • Brenda Conner, Daughter
  • Dedra Couch, Granddaughter
  • Dina & Carlos Thompson, Granddaughter
  • Deanna & Ricky Dougan, Granddaughter
  • Gerald & Jennifer Essary, Grandson
  • Wayne Essary, Grandson
  • Bree & Scott Schock, Granddaughter
  • Derrick Hammond, Grandson
  • Shayna & Steven Horne, Granddaughter
  • Marc & Rachel Conner, Grandson
  • Twenty-Five Great -Grandchildren, -
  • Six Great-Great- Grandchildren, -
  • Numerous nieces & nephews, -
  • Eugene Claude Lively, Father (deceased)
  • Mary Ethel Denson, Mother (deceased)
  • D. W. Smart, Husband (deceased)
  • Harvey Essary, Son-in-law (deceased)
  • Marshall Lively, Brother (deceased)
  • J. C. Lively, Brother (deceased)
  • Lois Slater, Sister (deceased)
  • Inez Duncan, Sister (deceased)
  • Lillian Lively, Sister (deceased)
  • Eugene Lively, Jr., Brother (deceased)
  • Aubrey Lively, Brother (deceased)
  • Lucille McDaniel, Sister (deceased)
  • Preston Lively, Brother (deceased)
  • Donald Lively, Brother (deceased)

  • Grandchildren


  • Visitation Friday, November 1, 2019
  • Funeral Friday, November 1, 2019


Melba Lively Smart

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