OBITUARY

Mary Lee SMITH

October 8, 1942January 2, 2021
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Mary Lee Smith was born October 8, 1942 in Texarkana, Arkansas to Willie and Mary Louise Bruce. She lived her life in full expression of the Proverbs 31 woman. She was a faithful member of The Potter’s House of Dallas where she served on the Crimson Ministry team. She held Bible study in the home of she and her husband for several years. Those who knew her best would often describe her as a woman of wisdom, a psalmist, loyal, generous, and a great cook. As the third eldest child, Mary was the matriarch of her family whose home was the hub for many extended family gatherings which she loved to host. She completed her formal education in Texarkana, AR where she graduated from Booker T. Washington High School as Salutatorian of her class and continued her education at University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (formerly Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College) where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree. Mary later acquired a Master of Liberal Arts degree from Southern Methodist University and several certifications in administration from the University of North Texas, graduating with honors from all institutions. After completing college in 1964, Mary began her career as an educator. In the late sixties, she and her family relocated to Dallas, TX where she continued her career at American Christian Academy at Souls Harbor Church. In 1978, she joined Dallas ISD where she served over 25 years in various capacities including teaching Language Arts at Carter High School, W.E. Greiner Middle School, and culminating her teaching career at Booker T. Washington High School of the Performing and Visual Arts. The remainder of her career was spent in administration where she proudly served until retiring in 2002. She married her husband Benny L. Smith, May 20, 1962, celebrating 58 years of Holy Matrimony. From that union four children were born. Not only was she the family matriarch and mother to her four children and godson, she was fondly considered an adopted mom by many of her students throughout her numerous years of teaching in Dallas ISD. She was also a beloved spiritual mother to many church members and friends of the family. Mary was intentional about making every family member feel special. She understood the importance of sacrificing time and creating memories to celebrate and support her family. As a dedicated mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and god-mother, she gave her best to her children. Every gift she cultivated in her life, she availed to Victor, Yolanda, Kenneth, and Bryan. During the last days of her life, Mary was surrounded and supported by her loving family and friends. On Saturday, January 2, 2021, Mary faced the sunset of her days on earth and entered her rest, joining her precious Savior in eternity. Mary leaves to cherish her memories her husband Benny L. Smith; beloved children: Victor Smith (Kimberly), Yolanda Brooks (Vincent), Kenneth Smith (Pamela), and Bryan Smith (Rochelle), all residing in the Dallas area; siblings: Nathan Bruce (Lou) of Flint, MI, Royles Bruce (Billie) of Muskegon, MI, Betty Edwards (Eugene) and Earsilene Bruce of Atlanta, GA, Edna Burnett, Delbra Murphy (Van) and Lemurial Bruce (Jean) of Dallas, TX, and Melissa Bruce of Oakland, CA; Sister-in-law: Janice Bruce; Brother-in-law: Esell Monroe; Special godson: Roderick McDonald; Grandchildren: Johnathan, Kenneth Jr., Lawrence, Nicolis, Caleb, Madison, and Emma; Great-grandchildren: Anya, Brooklyn, Jackson, Kimberly, Johnathan Jr., Alex, Avonna, Eden, Connor, Aiden, Alex, and Amya. In addition, she leaves forty-one nieces and nephews; several great-nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Willie and Mary Louise Bruce; brothers, Borden, James, Odell and Silas Bruce; and sisters, Shirley Monroe and Doris Byrd. Mary’s legacy was exemplified by using her gifts and talents to plant many seeds that would bear fruit in different seasons of her life. She was a trailblazer who embodied change and continually demonstrated love. She was an educator and deposited wisdom into the lives of all she touched. Mary was a woman whom God used, and the ripple effects of her presence on this earth will be felt for generations to come. She was revered and leaves a legacy of service that is a model for all to follow.

Services

  • Visitation

    Thursday, January 14, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Friday, January 15, 2021

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  • Committal Service

    Friday, January 15, 2021

Memories

Mary Lee SMITH

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Mary Bruce-Duncan

January 18, 2021

Aunt Mary was such a loving, wise, and strong spirit and became the matriarch of the Bruce family after my Grandma Mary passed on. I am glad I was able to spend time with her and the rest of the Bruce family when my husband and I traveled to Dallas over a year ago. We had a wonderful time eating and enjoying each other’s company at the Olive Garden. She will be missed by all she knew. I want to give my condolences to Uncle Bennie and all of their children. May you find comfort in the sweet memories she left you with. ♥️

Elois Hanks

January 18, 2021

I have been a neighbor for 30 plus years and will miss knowing that you are not here Physically,but are comfortable in
Paradise with the LORD. Will truly miss
You Mrs.Mary Smith.

Angela Burnett

January 16, 2021

Aunt Mary!
I am going to miss you!!! I am so honored that I got time to spend with you these last couple of months. I will never forget bible study. How did I come back from New York and my Dad was sitting on your couch!!! Talk about amazing! God used u in mighty ways!!! I can’t wait to see your glorious glow and what the Lord had in store for you!! I know you are with our family and friends that has gone on before!! Rest well and I love you so much!!!

To Bryan, Victor, Kenneth, and Yolanda,
I know what it’s like loosing a parent. No words can heal. Take your time. You will have moments where it hurts, it doesn’t feel real, happy and laughter at the memories. Keep each other lifted up. I love you guys!!

To uncle Benny,
I appreciate, salute, and honor you for everything you did for Aunt Mary. I admire your faithfulness and caregiving nature to the very end! I love you!!

Jaimie Patterson

January 16, 2021

Love, comfort, peace and prayers to you Mr. Benny, Yolanda and family. Mother Smith was very faithful and it was a pleasure serving with her in doing Kingdom work (TPI). As indicated in the reflections, she's given her "BEST" to you. In as much as there is pain in loss, may the "BEST" that she's cultivated and deposited in your lives, specifically your hearts and spirit, be the hope and joy that you cleave to. Mr. Benny - love you Sir. Love the excellence you both gave as a Team in Kingdom Work. You are highly admired and respected and an excellent example of what it means to be a Man of God, Father and Husband. May her legacy live on through each and every one of you. The Word promises comfort in the time of mourning. May the comfort, encouragement and love you've deposited into the hearts and minds of others flood your lives as often as needed in the time to come. With Love, The Pattersons

Margaret Smith-Lake

January 15, 2021

Mary’s goal on this earth was to spend eternity in Heaven. The love, kindness, wisdom, and inspiration she shared with me and countless others will never be forgotten. Remember life is a journey, not a destination, so one day we will all be together again. Your reward has already begun.

Mary Bruce

January 15, 2021

Rest in Heavenly Peace Mary, along with the rest of your family.. I will forever remember your sweet, and kind demeanor .....Sending Prayers for Bennie and the rest of the family...We Love You All ❤️

Mary (Mikki) Bruce
Tamara, Tracee and Tashica Bruce

Shemika Swann-Thompson

January 15, 2021

To Uncle Benny, we extend our condolences and prayers to you. To my cousins, I wish you did not have to join this club and I wish there were words that I could say to comfort you and remove any pain that you may be experiencing. The loss of a parent is unexplainable and their presence is forever missed. As you celebrate her life, cherish the memories, hold on to the advice, and find comfort in knowing that any suffering or pain is no more. We will continue to cover each of you with prayer. Aunt Mary, you are forever loved and will be forever missed. Thank you for being the glue to keep the family together, may your legacy continue on and traditions remain strong. Rest in Heaven.
Hugs and love, Shemika & Family

Virginia Williams

January 14, 2021

If for Christ I proclaim the glad story,
If I seek for His sheep gone astray,
I am sure He will show me His Glory,
When I’ve gone the last mile of the way.

My friend, you have completed the last mile of a race well run. The excitement you displayed as you proclaimed the glad story became a silent invitation that drew many a stray sheep to Christ. Your proclamation made the Word easy to understand and left many sheep yearning for more.
At work, “Thank You” for the attention to details you modeled. Your work exhibited depth in thought and intentional purpose. You were wise, fun, comical, adventurous and a connoisseur of fine cuisine. I was introduced to much under your leadership. You were a mentor as well as a friend. You could walk with crowds and keep your Godly virtues. You could walk with kings and maintain a common touch.
You left a sustaining imprint upon me as well as many who crossed your path. Thank You for your Love and Friendship. I’m going to miss you my friend. Farewell until we meet again.
Your sister friend,
Virginia Williams

Betty Edwards

January 14, 2021

Hello Big Sis , you were one of my greatest heroes. I always looked up to you, you seemed to know everything. I thank God for the times we had together. I don't have the words to say how much I miss you. You know I loved you so much. I know you're with our Lord and the rest of our family. Thank you for your faith you showed me and others. I know I will see you again.. love you........

Willie Bruce

January 13, 2021

What a dynamic sister. She will be sorely missed.



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