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Snow's Memorial Chapel

746 Cherry Street, Macon, GA

OBITUARY

LaWahna Dawn Rigdon Smisson

November 15, 1930February 25, 2020

LaWahna Dawn Rigdon Smisson, 89, passed away Tuesday, February 25, 2020.

A Celebration of her Life will be held at 11:00 AM Friday, February 28, 2020 at Vineville United Methodist Church with private burial in Riverside Cemetery. Dr. Jimmy Asbell and Dr. Laudis H. “Rick” Lanford will officiate. The family will greet friends at the residence, 1115 Saint Andrews Drive, on Thursday from 6 until 8 PM and following the service on Friday in the sanctuary. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Stratford Academy, 6010 Peake Road, Macon, Georgia 31210 or Vineville United Methodist Church, For Summer’s Garden, 2045 Vineville Avenue, Macon, Georgia 31204. The family also wants to extend their deepest gratitude to her devoted caregivers for the love and dedication given to Mrs. Smisson.

Mrs. Smisson was born in Macon, Georgia the daughter of the late Ione Adelaide Lund Rigdon and William Irving Rigdon and was preceded in death by her daughter, Summer Ione LaWahna Smisson Neel. She grew up in Fort Valley, Georgia and Norton, West Virginia. Mrs. Smisson was a proud alumnus of Agnes Scott College. She was a member of Vineville United Methodist Church, the Bibb County Medical Auxiliary, the Hill & Dale Garden Club, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the “Sewing” Club. While visiting in Fort Valley in the summer of 1949, her father told her about a cute boy working in the peach packing shed. They met, fell in love, and were married on Easter Sunday in 1953. Hugh was the love of her life and the center of her universe.

Her family was her joy. She raised 3 children and helped raise 12 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and countless other children who called her “Grandmama” and “Sweet Mama”. Macon was her home for the past 58 years. She loved her dear friends, her sewing club, Stratford Academy, sailing, reading, writing, traveling, genealogy, and any adventure. She had fun with life!

Mrs. Smisson is survived by her husband of 67 years, Dr. Hugh Franklin Smisson, Jr.; children, LaWahna Dawn Smisson Liipfert (Richard Burton Liipfert, DMD) and Hugh Franklin Smisson, III, MD (Michelle Deanne Little Smisson); son-in-law, John Sanford Neel, Jr.; grandchildren, Richard Burton Liipfert, Jr., MD, LaWahna Dawn Liipfert Pyles, PharmD (Byron Bryant Pyles), Summer Sterling Liipfert Grisamore (Matthew Grant Grisamore), Merry Burton Liipfert Adams Rumer (Samuel Crawford Rumer), Hugh Franklin Smisson, IV, MD (Campbell Brogdon Smisson), William Benjamin Smisson, MD (Ruth Watts Smisson), Rigdon Adams Smisson (Bailey Dunn Smisson), Lauren Sophia Little, John Sanford Neel, III, Rigdon Smisson Neel, Summer Dawn Neel, and Sanford Caroline Neel; great-grandchildren, Lila Dawn Pyles, Merry Byron Pyles, Lily Rigdon Pyles, Bryant Liipfert Pyles, Grayson Brewer Grisamore, Sterling Gray Grisamore, Genevieve Pope Grisamore, Jesse Michael Adams, Jr., William Thomas Rumer, Patrick Crawford Rumer, Palmer Riden Smisson, William Harrison Smisson, John Hampton Smisson; cousin, Bruce William Anderson, DDS (Darlene Kay Anderson, MD) and their son, Blaine William Anderson.

Visit www.snowscs.com to express tributes. Snow’s Memorial Chapel, Cherry Street, has charge of arrangements.

  • FAMILY

  • Mrs. Smisson is survived by her husband of 67 years, Dr. Hugh Franklin Smisson, Jr.; children, LaWahna Dawn Smisson Liipfert (Richard Burton Liipfert, DMD) and Hugh Franklin Smisson, III, MD (Michelle Deanne Little Smisson); son-in-law, John Sanford Neel, Jr.; grandchildren, Richard Burton Liipfert, Jr., MD, LaWahna Dawn Liipfert Pyles, PharmD (Byron Bryant Pyles), Summer Sterling Liipfert Grisamore (Matthew Grant Grisamore), Merry Burton Liipfert Adams Rumer (Samuel Crawford Rumer), Hugh Franklin Smisson, IV, MD (Campbell Brogdon Smisson), William Benjamin Smisson, MD (Ruth Watts Smisson), Rigdon Adams Smisson (Bailey Dunn Smisson), Lauren Sophia Little, John Sanford Neel, III, Rigdon Smisson Neel, Summer Dawn Neel, and Sanford Caroline Neel; great-grandchildren, Lila Dawn Pyles, Merry Byron Pyles, Lily Rigdon Pyles, Bryant Liipfert Pyles, Grayson Brewer Grisamore, Sterling Gray Grisamore, Genevieve Pope Grisamore, Jesse Michael Adams, Jr., William Thomas Rumer, Patrick Crawford Rumer, Palmer Riden Smisson, William Harrison Smisson, John Hampton Smisson; cousin, Bruce William Anderson, DDS (Darlene Kay Anderson, MD) and their son, Blaine William Anderson.
  • DONATIONS

  • Stratford Academy
  • Vineville United Methodist Church

Services

  • A Celebration of Life Friday, February 28, 2020
  • Second Visitation Following the Service Friday, February 28, 2020

Memories

LaWahna Dawn Rigdon Smisson

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Renee Sullivan

March 1, 2020

I'm deeply sorry for the loss of your loved one and my UDC sister. She will be missed. Prayers for comfort for all of you.

Rusty Hilburn

February 27, 2020

Mrs. Smisson loved her family and all of her children’s friends. She always made me feel so welcome and special whenever our paths crossed, which was often. We share many wonderful memories of Stratford together.
I know she and Summer are laughing together again!!!!
Truly one of God’s angels on earth!

lawrence webb

February 27, 2020


LaWana was a very special person. I had the privilege of knowing her as a patient and a friend. She was a caring soul with keen insight and was a wonderful conversationalist!

I grieve for her loss--she will be sorely missed by her family and her many dear friends.

My sincere condolences to her wonderful and loving family.

Lawrence X Webb MD

Cissy Bates Freund

February 27, 2020

Mrs. Smisson was so sweet and beautiful. She always had a smile on her face.

Tracey Dellacona

February 26, 2020

I loved Mrs Smisson. She was the “cool” grandma. She reminded me so much of my mom and one of my favorite pictures is my mom and Ms Smisson at Dawn’s house. She was sassy, sweet, strong and generous in every facet of her life. We were all blessed to know her. I loved cheering with her at sporting events and being a little obnoxious! I know she is setting everyone straight in heaven and taking care of her family there.

Linda Bolt

February 26, 2020

Our sincerest sympathy to Mr. Smisson and the family. Mrs. Smisson was a graceful and genuine lady. She was so friendly and loved to share about you, her cherished family. She made her way into the hearts of many Maconites. Though she will be missed, her legacy will endure in the lives of many.
Bob and Linda Bolt

Tammy Beauch

February 26, 2020

Such a fine lady who made everyone she encountered feel loved. You will be missed Grandmama Smisson. Prayers & sincere condolences to all of the family.

Patsy Wilson

February 26, 2020

Mrs. Smisson was such a sweet lady ! She will be missed! Condolences to the family on your tragic loss!

Meredith Stiff

February 26, 2020

I will never ever forget the kindness and grace of Mrs. Smisson. She made everyone feel like her best friend. I know Summer met her at the gate. Because, like Lawahna Smission, I believe in a God who calls us home.

May God’s grace mend the broken hearts of all who loved her. I know the memories held by her beloved family will become treasure as they carry forward her legacy of love.

I thank God for all the light Mrs. Smission left behind.

Melvin Eugene Bishop

February 26, 2020

We will see Lawahna Dawn Rigdon Smisson again in Heaven !!!

FROM THE FAMILY