Mrs. Rachel Elizabeth (Belle) Smith, 77, of West End, transitioned on Monday, April 26, 2021, at FirstHealth Hospice House, in Pinehurst, NC.
A graduate of the 1961 Class of Pinckney High School in Carthage, NC, she received her Bachelor’s degree from Johnson C Smith University (Class of 1965), and Master of Education from Coppin State College in 1971. She was an unwavering advocate for education, her alma mater, Johnson C. Smith University, and proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Mrs. Smith retired in 2007 after a cumulative 42-year career in education with Baltimore City Schools and the Moore County School System.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Rev. Milton Moses Belle and Clara Brown Belle; brothers Cyrus and Aaron Belle; sisters Ella Bond (Vernon-D) and Eva “Katherine” Glover (Thomas); her beloved husband, Dr. Jimmie Smith Sr; and sons, Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Smith (Mildred), and Jason Smith. Surviving are children Dr. Jimmie Smith Jr. (Monique) and Twyla Steamer (Jervis); daughter in love Mildred Smith (Jeffrey-D); and brothers Rev. James Belle and Milton Belle (Julie). Her legacy will be her grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and thousands of students.
A public viewing will be held at Pugh and Smith Funeral Home, 807 Monroe Street Carthage, on Sunday, May 2, 2021, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 pm. A private ceremony for the family only (due to Covid-19 public health guidance) will follow at 1 p.m. Interment will occur at John Hall Presbyterian Church, 520 Dowd Street, Carthage, NC, following the private service, and open to all.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Johnson C. Smith University, with a memo referencing the “Dr. Jeffrey A. Smith Endowed Scholarship” and attention to the Office of Institutional Advancement, 100 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte, NC 28216. Electronic contributions can be made by visiting JCSU.edu and selecting the Giving tab.
Pugh and Smith Funeral Home, Carthage, have been entrusted with the arrangements.