Nola Oleitta Smith

October 18, 1918March 30, 2018
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Nola Oleitta Smith, was born October 18, 1918 on Sand Mountain, Alabama, and went to be with the Lord on Friday, March 30, 2018, at the age of 99, in Shreveport, LA. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She grew up and graduated high school in Hiram, Georgia. She was baptized there at the age of eight. Nola was married to Oscar Thomas (O.T.) Smith, founder of Trans-World Life Insurance Company. They moved to Shreveport from Powder Springs, Georgia in 1951. They attended Broadmoor Baptist Church for decades. They were married for 57 years, until O.T. went to be with the Lord on June 13, 1994. Living twelve years alone after O.T.’s death, then, Nola moved to the Glen Retirement Home; a move she never regretted. She is survived by her sons: Ronald E. Smith, Sr. of Shreveport, LA and O.T. Smith, Jr. and wife Cheryl of Baton Rouge, LA; and grandchildren: Linda G. Lewis and husband Tim of Olive Branch, MS; Ronald E. Smith, Jr. and wife Caro of Baton Rouge, LA; Christopher G. Smith and wife Tonya of The Woodlands, TX; Jennifer Rizzutto and husband Chad of Baton Rouge, LA . Nola has 10 great grandchildren: Kennedy, Trey, Liz, Christian, McCoy, Camden, Gabby, Braxton, Ella and Hayden. One of Nola’s favorite scriptures was II Corinthians 9:6 “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” As she was influenced by her mother Leila Naomi Newman, who lived to 89, she has left loving and lasting impressions upon her family and friends. And she leaves us with this thought: “Prayer is not to be invoked to ask God for things for oneself or for others. Rather Prayer is a medium through which I ask God to show me His will and give me the strength to carry out that will. Thank you, Father for that Privilege, – Nola”. Visitation will be held at Centuries Funeral Home and Cemetery, 8801 Mansfield Road in Shreveport, LA; on Monday, April 02, 2018 from 10 am to 11:30 am. Close friends are invited to join the family at the graveside service immediately following the visitation. Officiating the services will be Ronald E. Smith Jr. Pallbearers will be Ronald E. Smith, Jr., Christopher Smith, Tim Lewis, Chad Rizzutto, Trey Smith, McCoy Smith, Camden Smith. Honorary Pallbearers are Braxton Rizzutto and Hayden Rizzutto. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the charity of your choice.


  • Ronald E. Smith, Sr., Son
  • O. T. Smith, Jr. and Wife Cheryl, Son
  • Linda G. Lewis and husband Tim, Grandchild
  • Ronald E. Smith, Jr. and wife Caro, Grandchild
  • Christopher Smith and wife Tonya, Grandchild
  • Jennifer Rizzutto and husband Chad, Grandchild
  • Kennedy, Trey, Liz, Christian, McCoy, Camden, Gabby, Braxton, Ella, Hayden, grandchildren

  • Ronald E. Smith, Jr., Active Pallbearer
  • Christopher Smith, Active Pallbearer
  • Tim Lewis, Active Pallbearer
  • Chad Rizzutto, Active Pallbearer
  • Trey Smith, Active Pallbearer
  • McCoy Smith, Active Pallbearer
  • Camden Smith, Active Pallbearer
  • Braxton Rizzutto, Active Pallbearer
  • Hayden Rizzutto, Active Pallbearer


  • Visitation Monday, April 2, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Monday, April 2, 2018

Nola Oleitta Smith

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linda lewis

July 16, 2018

Talking about life. Making peanut butter and banana sandwiches and going to feed the ducks. Chris Smith.

Mema made the best breakfast. (Eggs, sausage, grits, biscuits, cheese, and sometimes sliced tomatoes.) Breakfast always involved a conversation of news and questions about how I have been. She was a great listener. Tonya Smith

My favorite memories of Mema was her laugh, the way she says "Hello." Shelves of books and the Word Jumble. Her country breakfast and sliced tomatoes and fruit. Her garden of vegetables and roses. Hiding Easter eggs in the kitchen. Walks around the block. The way she puts her make-up on at the kitchen table. Jennifer Rizzuto.

Mema sang "Jesus Loves Me" with us when we visited her for her birthday. Ella Rizzutto.

Playing bingo at the Glen...when Gabby won bingo so many times that Mema told her to stop calling it. Christian Smith

linda lewis

June 10, 2018

Memories of Grandmother
Her smile.
Her putting on her make up at the kitchen table.
Her fried okra, eggplant and tomatoes - and bake squash.
Her reading numerous books.
Walks around the block after supper.
Her and her roses.
Her stretching and jumping jacks, and she could stand on her head and walk on her hands!
Her singing "Playmate, Come Out and Play With Me" everytime we visit.
The spotless house.
Grandmother eating Grape Nuts and Corn Flakes.
Peanut-butter and banana sandwiches.
Her taking us to the Duck Pond park and Granddad taking us to the horse races.
Watching Lawrence Welk and HeeHaw with Grandmother and Granddad.
Going to Church with them and hear Granddad humming when he didn't know the words to the song.
Her hair being the same for 50 years.
Going on trips to Georgia, Florida and Nevada.
Playing Rook and Shanghi with them and sometimes friends.
Cleaning the gutters and putting down pine straw mulch with her.
The way she said "hello" when answering the phone.
Them taking me to the emergency room twice.
Her wrinkling face.
The way she said our names and how she loved us.
Always being there and supporting us no matter what.
And the way she did not like to say good-byes.
Her faith and the way she said "I am ready to go."
...her grandchildren, Ronny and Linda, with love.


1644 rebuilt Newman Congregational Church, United Church of Christ; Rumford, RI


1644 Rev. Samuel Newman commemorative marker


1800's John Henry Gilbert (John Andrew Gilbert's father) paternal grandfather. DeKalb Co., AL


1800's Rebecca (Becky) Norris Gilbert (p. grandmother) (John Andrew Gilbert's mother)


1805 - 1866 Grandma Rebecca Mangum (m. great grandmother) married to Jesse G. Newman


1846-1909 Charles Wesley Newman (Leila Gilbert's father)


Nola, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and a great Christian was born on October 18, 1918 in Tenbrook, Alabama of the Sand Mountain area. Her father was Joseph Andrew Gilbert and her mother was Leila Naomi Myrtle Newman Gilbert. They had eight children: Herbert Presley Gilbert, John Hoyt Gilbert, Floyd Andrew Gilbert, Nola Oleitta Gilbert, Wilma June Gilbert, Mary Wynell Gilbert, Reba Mae Gilbert and William Lowell Gilbert.
Her family had a grist mill in beautiful Hiram, Georgia where she would swim in Lick Log Creek with her sisters and friends. She attended the little country church in town. At the age of eight, she was converted/baptized in July of 1926 at Poplar Springs Baptist Church by the Rev. Gilliam. All her education years were spent at the school house in Hiram, Georgia, where she played basketball and graduated. While there, she met her life-long love “John Os.” But that nickname changed to “O. T.” when they were engaged.
On December 19, 1936, Nola married Oscar Thomas Smith (January 21, 1917 – June 13, 1994). Not long after they were married, they moved to Rome, Georgia where they had Ronald Everett Smith (November 8, 1938). Sometime after that they moved to Atlanta, Georgia where they had Oscar Thomas Smith, Jr., “Smitty” (November 23, 1942). O. T. worked for Washington National where he started his career as an insurance agent. Climbing the ladder of success, he was transferred to Savannah, Georgia as an assistant manager, then to Shreveport, Louisiana (1951) as a district manager. After seventeen years with Washington National, O. T. decided to start his own business: Trans-World Life Insurance Company, in 1960. Nola went to work at Selber Brothers department store to help her sons attend college. They attended Broadmoor Baptist Church for decades. She was very involved in her walk with Jesus as a member of the W. M. U. and served as Sunday School correspondence secretary for three class generations. She was an avid letter writer, keeping in touch with all of her family and friends. She even got to Face-Time with her sisters in Georgia.
She was very close to her family in Georgia. Although she didn’t see them as much as she would like, they kept very close. She attended many Gilbert family reunions which always lifted her spirits to be able to see her siblings and their families. Can you imagine that trip from Louisiana to Georgia in a lime green 1949 Ford with no air conditioning, no interstate and two kids!?
Twelve years after O. T. passed away, Nola moved to the Glen Retirement System in 2007. She was a resident of the Stiles Apartments, The Cottages, and Skilled Nursing Care. She went to be with the Lord, while peacefully sleeping, at 12:47 p.m. on Good Friday, March 30, 2018.
Nola is survived by her sons: Ronald Smith, O. T. Smith, Jr. and his wife Cheryl. Ronald’s daughter, Linda Gail Smith Lewis and her husband Tim R. Lewis and daughter Elizabeth Ashley Lewis; and his son Ronald Everett Smith, Jr. (Ronny) and wife Caro McCoy Smith and their children: Ronald Everett Smith, III (Trey), Christian Elisabeth Smith, Joseph McCoy Smith and Gabrielle Lillie Anna Smith. O. T. Smith, Jr.’s son Christopher Gilbert Smith and wife Tonya Mitchell Smith, and their children: Kennedy Lee Smith and Camden Mitchell Smith; and his daughter, Jennifer Ann Smith Rizzutto and husband Chadwick Wayne Rizzutto and their children: Braxton Cole Rizzutto, Ella Rae Rizzutto and Hayden Wayne Rizzuto.

Do not look for wrong and evil,
You will find them if you do.
As you measure to your neighbor ,
He will measure back to you.
Kind hearts are the garden;
Kind thoughts are the roots;
Kind words are the blossoms;
Kind deeds are the fruits.