October 22, 1937 – March 14, 2020
Mrs. Carolyn Rochelle Burgess Smith, age 82, passed away Saturday morning, March 14, 2020, in Nacogdoches, Texas. She was born on October 22, 1937 at the Methodist Hospital in Dallas, Texas to the late Steve and Lillian Burgess.
Rochelle moved to Nacogdoches, Texas at the age of seven. She described her elementary and secondary school years as pleasant and joyous, considering herself “a model student.” She graduated Nacogdoches High school in 1956 and that summer would come home to tell her mother she had met a “good-looking man” from San Augustine, Texas. On September 7, 1957 she married him, Leonard (Pete) Smith, and together they had two children, Craig and Shawna Smith. She obtained a BS and Masters of Education from SFA and would go on to be an educator for thirty-two years, twenty-six of which were at Fredonia Elementary teaching second grade. Her students lovingly referred to her as “Miss Smiff.”
Regardless of the topic, Rochelle had an innate ability for initiating conversation with strangers, friends, and loved ones. Her sincere and direct humor, alongside an amicable approach and genuine embrace, radiated among all those blessed with her presence. She spread her love of reading to her grandchildren--lessons they still hold dear--and shared invaluable moments with friends while playing cards, dominoes, and bingo, all while engaging in lasting conversations. Rochelle’s memory remains with us as the mark of one who indeed loved life, cared for others, and never gave up on her unmatched and contagious sense of humor.
She will be dearly missed as she rests in peace, having provided her family and friends with insatiable memories and the gift of her unending love and care. In addition to her late parents, Steve and Lilian Burgess, she was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard “Pete” Smith, infant son, James Allen Smith, and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Leslie and Bertha Smith.
She is survived by her son, Craig and wife Lindy Smith, daughter, Shawna Smith Braselton, and grandchildren, Hunter Smith, Saylor Smith, Taylor Braselton, and Margaret Ashlyn Braselton.
Service details are currently pending and will be announced as they become available.
The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the staff at The Arbor for their kindness and care they've shown to Rochelle over the last few years. Also, they would like to thank her many friends and classmates.
Arrangements are under the direction of Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Directors, Nacogdoches.
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March 21, 2020
Mrs. Smith was a friend to my mother, a fellow resident of The Arbor Assisted Living and Memory Care. There she share many hours participating in games and other activities. She became a favorite of my SFASU students, for she participated in numerous Service Learning student-directed activities, live readings, and movie presentations . She was particularly proud of door decorations hung by students to celebrate the Christmas holidays. Mrs. Smith will be greatly missed by my students and her fellow residents, as well as by me. I will miss visiting with her and the response she always had to baked goods taken to her and others. May she rest in peace.
March 20, 2020
Such a dear friend, so many memories from school years and beyond. It is hard to find words for the good and hard times we shared. The good times will be remembered! My condolences to the family.
March 19, 2020
Such a dear, sweet friend. More like family. Always there for me. She will be greatly missed.
March 16, 2020
Rochelle was a much loved member of the NHS Class of 1956. She was always happy and usually had a "funny" tale to tell to anybody who would listen.
Your classmates will miss you.
March 16, 2020
She will truly be missed, I had the pleasure of being her med aide. RIL❤️❤️❤️
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
IN THE CARE OF