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Moss Service Funeral Home

1901 2nd Ave North West, Cullman, AL

OBITUARY

Jessie Sue Smith

October 18, 1931June 25, 2020
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Jessie Sue Chappell Smith, 88, loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and educator, passed away peacefully Thursday, June 25, 2020, at Hanceville Nursing Home. Mrs. Smith was born October 18, 1931, to Curtis Chalmer Chappell and Irene Adams Chappell of Cleveland, Alabama. She married Lecil Norman Smith on August 7, 1947, and their daughter Susan was born February 16, 1957. After finishing high school at the age of 15, Mrs. Smith earned Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics Education and a Master’s Degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Alabama. Mrs. Smith’s accomplished career as a dedicated educator spanned four decades. She taught home economics at West Point High School and Fairview High School and served as vocational counselor in the Cullman County School System. When Mr. and Mrs. Smith moved to Montgomery, she became a District Specialist in Home Economics Education and later the State Specialist for Home Economics Education at the Alabama State Department of Education. She provided leadership for over 750 home economics teachers, 75,000 students, and 15,000 Future Homemakers of America members. Through her outstanding direction, several home economics education courses of studies were developed. These documents provided relevant home economics content, teaching techniques, and resources for both the middle and high school programs. For the first time, a home economics course, Home and Personal Management, became a high school graduation requirement. She founded the Alabama Future Homemakers of America Foundation that provided special funding for innovative teaching grants for home economics teachers. The Foundation awarded scholarships each year for outstanding high school seniors who were pursuing a college major in a field of home economics. Mrs. Smith was well respected nationally and statewide by her peers. She was such an influential educator and leader in home economics at the national and state levels. She was recognized for her academic knowledge, talents, and achievements by serving as an officer and committee member in many national and state associations. She was a member of the American Vocational Education Association, the Home Economics Section of the American Vocational Education, the State Home Economics Supervisors Section of the American Vocational Association, the Alabama Vocational Association, the Home Economics Section of the Alabama Vocational Section, the Home Economics Education Association, the National Education Association and the Alabama Education Association. She was recognized as the Alabama Vocational Association Outstanding Leader of the Year. After her retirement, she was inducted into the Alabama Vocational Association Hall of Fame, and she was chosen as one of the 150 most outstanding graduates at the school of Home Economics for the University of Alabama’s 150th Anniversary celebration. Through her leadership and futuristic thinking, she made a difference in the personal, family, and community lives of the young people of Alabama. Mrs. Smith enjoyed spending time with her family after she retired while remaining actively involved in her community. She never stopped educating. She taught Sunday School and English as a second language classes at First Baptist Church. She was also a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma teachers’ sorority, twice serving as president of the local chapter. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were instrumental in establishing the Cullman City Primary School Outdoor Learning Center, which was built in memory of their late grandson, Kristian Alexander Kraft. She continued to volunteer at local schools well into her 80s. In 2009, Mr. and Mrs. Smith also established the Sue and Lecil Smith Endowed Scholarship for the College of Human and Environmental Sciences at their beloved University of Alabama. She was a long-standing member of the College of Human and Environmental Sciences Leadership Board and a proud member of the University of Alabama Alumni Association. Those left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Susan Elise Smith Kraft (Randy); her granddaughter, Emilie Susan Kraft-Merchant (Wayne); her great-grandchildren, Eve Alexandra Kraft-Cooper, Rhys Matthew Kraft-Cooper, Robert Oliver Merchant, and James Fischer Merchant; her two sisters, Bonnie Lee Chappell Hamner and Annie Mae Chappell Hendon; her brother, Bobby Dean Chappell; and a host of other family, close friends and former students. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Lecil, her parents, and her grandson, Kristian Alexander Kraft. A graveside service will be held at Cullman City Cemetery on Sunday, June 28, at 3:00 p.m. Social distancing requirements will be observed. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Lecil and Sue Smith Endowed Scholarship at the University of Alabama and can be mailed to Amy Parton, Director of Development, Box 870158, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. Please visit mossservicefh.com to leave condolences for the family. Moss Service Funeral Home Directing.

  • FAMILY

  • Susan Elise Smith Kraft (Randy) (Randy Kraft), Daughter
  • Emilie Susan Kraft-Merchant (Wayne), Granddaughter
  • Eve Alexandra Kraft-Cooper, Great Grandchild
  • Rhys Matthew Kraft-Cooper, Great Grandchild
  • Robert Oliver Merchant, Great Grandchild
  • James Fischer Merchant, Great Grandchild
  • Bonnie Lee Chappell Hamner, Sister
  • Annie Mae Chappell Hendon, Sister
  • Bobby Dean Chappell, Brother
  • A host of other, Family and former students
  • Lecil Smith, Husband (deceased)
  • Kristian Alexander Kraft, Grandson (deceased)
  • Curtis Chalmer Chappell, Father (deceased)
  • Irene Adams Chappell, Mother (deceased)

Services

  • Graveside Service

    Sunday, June 28, 2020

Memories

Jessie Sue Smith

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Dot Gudger

June 29, 2020

Sue and Lecil were my neighbors for 15 years on Lakehill street. They were gracious, kind people who I adored. On one particular evening while pregnant I was burned by a skillet of grease that caught on fire. My husband was away at a school meeting so I went to Sue’s house and she took me to the hospital for treatment. They cared for me until Garlan could get home. They were always the best neighbors and I enjoyed them probably more than any neighbors I have ever had. We shared many of the same interests especially in education. I have missed them for the past few years because of both our illnesses. Good people!

Brenda Maynard

June 28, 2020

Very special lady. Always enjoyed spending time with her and Ann.

Joyce Brown

June 27, 2020

I am so sorry to hear of Sue’s passing. I will remember her as a dynamic, progressive educator; a devoted Christian who shared her vast knowledge of the Bible with others; and an involved, active community and school supporter. Bobby and I miss our chats with her that we had almost every Sunday about family, church, community, national and world events.
My love and sympathy to Susan and the family,
Joyce Brown

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Biography

Obituary for Jessie Sue Smith
Jessie Sue Chappell Smith, 88, loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and educator, passed away peacefully Thursday, June 25, 2020, at Hanceville Nursing Home.
Mrs. Smith was born October 18, 1931, to Curtis Chalmer Chappell and Irene Adams Chappell of Cleveland, Alabama. She married Lecil Norman Smith on August 7, 1947, and their daughter Susan was born February 16, 1957.
After finishing high school at the age of 15, Mrs. Smith earned Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics Education and a Master’s Degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Alabama.
Mrs. Smith’s accomplished career as a dedicated educator spanned four decades. She taught home economics at West Point High School and Fairview High School and served as vocational counselor in the Cullman County School System. When Mr. and Mrs. Smith moved to Montgomery, she became a District Specialist in Home Economics Education and later the State Specialist for Home Economics Education at the Alabama State Department of Education. She provided leadership for over 750 home economics teachers, 75,000 students, and 15,000 Future Homemakers of America members. Through her outstanding direction, several home economics education courses of studies were developed. These documents provided relevant home economics content, teaching techniques, and resources for both the middle and high school programs. For the first time, a home economics course, Home and Personal Management, became a high school graduation requirement. She founded the Alabama Future Homemakers of America Foundation that provided special funding for innovative teaching grants for home economics teachers. The Foundation awarded scholarships each year for outstanding high school seniors who were pursuing a college major in a field of home economics.
Mrs. Smith was well respected nationally and statewide by her peers. She was such an influential educator and leader in home economics at the national and state levels. She was recognized for her academic knowledge, talents, and achievements by serving as an officer and committee member in many national and state associations. She was a member of the American Vocational Education Association, the Home Economics Section of the American Vocational Education, the State Home Economics Supervisors Section of the American Vocational Association, the Alabama Vocational Association, the Home Economics Section of the Alabama Vocational Section, the Home Economics Education Association, the National Education Association and the Alabama Education Association. She was recognized as the Alabama Vocational Association Outstanding Leader of the Year. After her retirement, she was inducted into the Alabama Vocational Association Hall of Fame, and she was chosen as one of the 150 most outstanding graduates at the school of Home Economics for the University of Alabama’s 150th Anniversary celebration. Through her leadership and futuristic thinking, she made a difference in the personal, family, and community lives of the young people of Alabama.
Mrs. Smith enjoyed spending time with her family after she retired while remaining actively involved in her community. She never stopped educating. She taught Sunday School and English as a second language classes at First Baptist Church. She was also a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma teachers’ sorority, twice serving as president of the local chapter. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were instrumental in establishing the Cullman City Primary School Outdoor Learning Center, which was built in memory of their late grandson, Kristian Alexander Kraft. She continued to volunteer at local schools well into her 80s.
In 2009, Mr. and Mrs. Smith also established the Sue and Lecil Smith Endowed Scholarship for the College of Human and Environmental Sciences at their beloved University of Alabama. She was a long-standing member of the College of Human and Environmental Sciences Leadership Board and a proud member of the University of Alabama Alumni Association.
Those left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Susan Elise Smith Kraft (Randy); her granddaughter, Emilie Susan Kraft-Merchant (Wayne); her great-grandchildren, Eve Alexandra Kraft-Cooper, Rhys Matthew Kraft-Cooper, Robert Oliver Merchant, and James Fischer Merchant; her two sisters, Bonnie Lee Chappell Hamner and Annie Mae Chappell Hendon; her brother, Bobby Dean Chappell; and a host of other family, close friends and former students.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Lecil, her parents, and her grandson, Kristian Alexander Kraft.
A graveside service will be held at Cullman City Cemetery on Sunday, June 28, at 3:00 p.m. Social distancing requirements will be observed.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Lecil and Sue Smith Endowed Scholarship at the University of Alabama and can be mailed to Amy Parton, Director of Development, Box 870158, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487.
Please visit www.mossservicefh.com to leave condolences to the family.
Moss Service Funeral Home Directing