Roberta Mae Smith

June 6, 1922June 9, 2012

Roberta Mae Wells Smith was born on June 6, 1922 on a farm northwest of Purcell, OK. She was the daughter of Ray Morton Wells and Dovie Agnes Pope. She died at home on Saturday, June 9, 2012. She graduated from Purcell High School in 1940. Her dream was to be a Registered Nurse. She attended St. Mary’s Nursing School at Winfield, Kansas for one semester, but decided that wasn’t the right place for her. She came home to the farm and stayed there until the fall of 1941 when she enrolled at Oklahoma Baptist Hospital Nursing School at Muskogee, Oklahoma, graduating in 1943. During that time, she had become friends with a young couple from Tennessee, Kenneth and Hazel. Before Kenneth left for the war front in North Africa he had asked Roberta to promise that Hazel would be looked after if he didn’t make it back. Shortly before her graduation a letter came from Hazel to say that Kenneth had been killed in action. Roberta left for Knoxville just after her graduation from nursing school and lived there for almost two years before returning to Purcell to work for Dr. Bill McCurdy at the Purcell hospital. In 1947 she was looking for a new adventure and decided to move to Elk City to work at the hospital there. One of her nursing buddies at the hospital set her up on a blind date with a local Elk City man, Alfred Smith, in June, 1948. Roberta and Alfred were married in Wheeler, Texas on a Sunday afternoon in August, 1948. She put her nursing career on hold to become a wife and mother. Their children were born in different locations as they followed Alfred’s career with Leeway Motor Freight: Cynthia Ann in 1950 in Elk City, Oklahoma, Alfred Wayne in 1951 in Purcell, Oklahoma, Rebecca Jean in 1953 and Glenna Sue in 1955 in Anadarko, Oklahoma. Roberta and Alfred were partners in the truest sense when they worked for Leeway. He drove a truck delivering freight while she worked in the office. She returned to nursing in the fall of 1960 when she went to work at the hospital at Anadarko. She remained there until April of 1965 when she moved the family to Oklahoma City and went to work at Presbyterian Hospital where she remained for almost 20 years. She retired from Deaconess Hospital. No one ever saw her with her hands empty. She couldn’t watch TV without working on knitting, crocheting, embroidery, or whatever her latest project was. She taught herself to tat lace at the age of 58 because she “never had time to learn before”. She made all of her daughters’ dresses until they were able to sew. It was always a treat to receive any of her handiwork because it was always impeccably done. One of her greatest joys was working in the sewing room at Baptist Temple in her retirement years as she felt that was a place she could truly use her talents to serve the Lord. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Agnes Wells, her sister, Juanita Hock, and her nephew, Dennis Hock. She is survived by her children: Cindy & husband Bill Yocum, Wayne & wife Barbara Smith, Becky & husband Greg Paysnoe, and Sue & husband David Pipkin , 11 grandchildren: Lori & husband Harvey Lowe, Brad Barry, Ryan & wife Ashley Smith, Evan & wife Jennifer Smith, Aidan & wife Melanie Smith, Breanna Smith, Amanda & husband Kelly Johnson, Eric & wife Hannah Paysnoe, Jeremy & wife Elenoa Paysnoe, Megan Paysnoe, and Kyle Paysnoe, and 11 great-grandchildren: Tyler Lowe, Mackenzie Lowe, Kaylee Smith, Cannon Smith, Grace Smith, Jackson Smith, Ethan Smith, Seth Smith, Xander Smith, Samantha Paysnoe, and Andrew Paysnoe, niece Betty Bruns, and nephew, Warren & wife Linda Hock.


  • Visitation Tuesday, June 12, 2012
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Roberta Mae Smith

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Kelley Crandle

June 13, 2012

I am sorry that mom and i could not get there for the funeral today. with the heat like it is her MS will not let her out for to long. please call us tonight and let us know how it was Love Betty Bruns and Kelley Crandle

Teresa Williams

June 13, 2012

My prayers are with you all ! God bless and keep you al .