Mrs. Beverly Jane Cannon Smithson

October 9, 1940June 16, 2013

Beverly Jane Cannon Smithson, of Greensboro, NC passed away on June 16, 2013. She was born in Herrin, Illinois to the late Hershel Cannon and Iva Mae Cannon on October 9, 1940. Following the death of her mother when she was only 9, Beverly was reared by her sister and brother-in-law, June Cannon Boswick and Dr. John A. Boswick. She grew up in Oak Park, IL and graduated from Oak Park River Forest High School in 1958.

Beverly attended University of Illinois, where she was a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority. She graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in Education, and earned a Master’s Degree in Education from UNC- Greensboro in 1978. She was a dedicated and gifted educator, and began her teaching career in Mt. Kisco, NY before taking a position with the Department of Defense Schools in Darmstadt, Germany. It was there that she met her beloved husband of 48 years, Robert Smithson. While living in Germany, she spent her free time traveling to many countries. These early adventures led to her love of traveling. Her most meaningful trip was in 1964 when she took a two-week trip to The Holy Land, The Middle East and Egypt. She and her husband Bob, continued to explore the world and shared many adventures traveling together throughout the US and Europe. By example and story-telling, they instilled a sense of the beauty of different cultures in their children and grandchildren.

Following her wedding to Bob in 1965, they lived in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. Beverly continued to share her gifts as a teacher in many school districts, including Roanoke City Public Schools in Virginia and Guilford County Schools in Greensboro, NC during which time she worked with Title I programs and English as a Second Language programs. Her career as an educator cumulated in a role which she loved, teaching and motivating students enrolled in the Gifted Education program at Guilford Middle School and Wiley Elementary School.

Beverly was beautiful inside and out, was a child of God who always looked for the good in others. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She was strong in her faith and instilled that faith in her children and grandchildren and all that knew her. She was strong, yet gentle and the sincerity of her smile would light up a room and warm your heart. She made strangers feel like family and in the words of her grandson “I never heard her say a harsh word to anyone”. Beverly had an intense and deep caring for humanity which was demonstrated through her volunteer work. Specifically she felt blessed in her time spent helping Vietnamese refugees integrate into the community, and the opportunity to assist families in rebuilding their homes in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. She was an active member of the Greensboro community and was dedicated to service at Christ United Methodist Church.

Those left to cherish her memory are her husband of 48 years, Robert Smithson and her two daughters; Tracy Smithson Mozingo and her husband Rich, and Karen Smithson Chang and her husband Stewart and the light of her life her four grandchildren, Lucas and Alex Mozingo and Carrie and Madeline Chang. She is also survived by six siblings; Mrs. June Cannon Boswick, Mr. Joseph Cannon, Mr. James Cannon, Mr. and Mrs. George Lawrence Cannon, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Cannon and Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Cannon, her Mother-in-law Carrie Will Smithson, Sister-in-law Mary White, her husband Jim White, 14 nieces, 10 nephews and many great-nieces and nephews.

A service in celebration of Beverly’s life will be held 2:00 pm on Thursday June 20 at Christ United Methodist Church, 410 Holden Road, Greensboro, NC 27401 with the Reverends Mike Bailey and John Bletsch officiating. Family will receive friends in the Fellowship Hall of the church following the service.

In lieu of gifts or flowers – please send donations to Christ United Methodist Church Youth Programs, Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, or Caring


  • Memorial Service Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mrs. Beverly Jane Cannon Smithson

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Freda Wells Kirk

June 23, 2013

So sorry about your loss. I lost my husband 6/29/12. It is truly a life changing experience.
Class of 1958 Campbellsville High School.

Leigh Ayers Fresina

June 22, 2013

My thoughts and prayers are with all of the Smithson family. Mrs. Smithson was a wonderful mom to all of us who spent many days and nights at their Roanoke home. Love and hugs to all of you.

Walt & Janice DeGree

June 21, 2013

Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.

June 18, 2013

Bev taught in Roanoke, VA City Schools. She is remembered with fondness by the Roanoke City Retired Teachers Association.

June 18, 2013

I so enjoyed being in a Bible study class with Bev. Such a delightful & lovely person. My deepest condolences to Bob & the family, during this very difficult time. Grace & Peace. Virginia Tedder Greensboro CUMC

Karen CRANE Goggin

June 18, 2013

Bev was a Sorority sister at Illinois that I remember with love. She has comforted me as I am a Caregiver for my husband Jack, an Alzheimers victim. Even as she continued her own battle with her beautiful style and Grace, she found words of comfort for me. That was the Bev I knew and will remember. Love & Prayers to you Bob and to all your wonderful family. May The Lord give you Peace. Karen CRANE Goggin

June 18, 2013

My condolences to Mr.Smithson, Tracy, Karen, and their families. Although it has been years since I have seen her, I knew Mrs. Smithson to be a wonderful, caring, and beautiful lady. She was a cherished part of our experiences and lives while at JMU, as well as the many years since. My prayers are with you.
Chris Brock (Fort Mill, SC)

June 18, 2013

Love and prayers to Bob and the girls.
sincerely, Barbara Rogers Dickinson (a friend from Roanoke days.)

Beth Buchanan Dillard

June 18, 2013

Thoughts and prayers to the family! Especially to Tracy , Rich and Lucas and Alex ! You are loved.

June 17, 2013

Hi Karen,
I am thinking of you and your family and holding you up in prayer during this difficult time. I was fortunate to work with you when you did your student teaching. I hope your memories keep your mother close in spirit. I just wanted to say I am sorry for your loss. Tracy Humbert