Funeral service will be Thursday, Oct. 27, at 1 p.m. at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Cassville. Interment will follow at Rolling Springs Cemetery. Family will be receiving friends Wednesday, Oct. 26, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Minnie Ruth Carter Smith was born on Jan. 8, 1928, in the Rowland Springs Community of Cartersville, the first of the two children of Silvia Richards Carter and Shelmon Carter. She was married to Bennie R. Smith, and to this union, two daughters were born. Minnie answered the clarion call on Oct. 21, 2011.
During her youth, she was baptized and united with New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Cassville, where her mother was a member. Knowing that "God's work here on earth must truly be our own," Minnie was a faithful, dutiful member throughout her lifetime. At various times, she served as church pianist; as Youth Choir Director; as a Sunday School teacher; as a VacationBibleSchool teacher; as a member of the Usher Board; and, as member of the Mothers Board. Her lifetime Christian experience also included regular worship at New Hope Baptist Church, Rydal (Pine Log), where her father was a member. For several years during the 1960's and 1970's, she served as pianist for Alexander Chapel United Methodist Church, Cartersville.
Minnie attended the public schools of Cartersville and graduated from Summer Hill School in 1946. Thereafter, she attended Albany State College, Albany, and Clark College, Atlanta; she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education from the latter in 1954. Her formal education included further studies at Atlanta University, Atlanta, and at the University of Georgia, Athens.
Her career as an educator began in the early 1950's with a temporary teaching assignment at Noble Hill School, Cassville. After completing college, Minnie was employed by the Cartersville City School System as a classroom instructor with assignments at Summer Hill Elementary School, Douglas Street School, and Cartersville Elementary School, respectively. Her work experiences also encompassed teaching evening adult education classes and summer Head Start Program classes. She received numerous awards and recognition for her work including that of "Teacher of the Year" in 1967. Minnie retired in 1989 concluding a teaching career that spanned over 35 years.
Her community affiliations were varied and numerous. She relished longstanding memberships with the Les Savants Club of Cartersville, and with the Cartersville/Bartow Retired Educators Association. Minnie also did volunteer work with the Bartow County Library Board and with the Noble Hill Wheeler Memorial Center, our local black history museum. Since 2007, she had been a "regular" at the Bartow County Senior Center at Zena Drive where she participated in center activities virtually every week day until mid-September when she began experiencing health challenges. During her quiet time, she enjoyed arts and crafts , working crossword puzzles, and reading religious and inspirational writings.
A 2005 David Hughes Duke video documentary sponsored by Sun Trust Bank and entitled "Summer Hill: A Story of Community" featured her commentary as well as that of daughter, Cheryl. The video cover shows her and daughter, Faye, engaged in a ring game with 1970 Head Start Program students.
Minnie passed quietly on Friday, Oct. 21, during a three-week hospital stay. She known for her smile and was a loving, lovable spirit who will be missed by all who knew her. Survivors include daughter and son-in law, Faye and Donald Jones, and, daughter, Cheryl Smith, all of Atlanta; five nephews, Terry Carter of Dallas, Texas, Ronald Carter of Phoenix, Ariz., Norris Carter of Horn Lake, Miss., Vincent Carter of Fort Worth, Texas, and Wayne Carter of Bixby, Okla.; and sisters-in law, Emma Adams of Atlanta, and Bettye Carter of Arlington, Texas. She was preceded in death by her parents, Silvia Carter (1899-1990) and Shelmon Carter (1900-1974); by her husband, Bennie R. Smith (1927-1976); and by her brother, Paul Carter (1930-2008). Others mourning her passing include a host of relatives and friends, and a myriad of former students who were in her classrooms between 1955 to 1989 and who have routinely acknowledged her since such times by proudly, yet affectionately announcing, "Mrs. Smith was my first-grade teacher!"
Mack Eppinger & Sons Funeral Service are in charge of arrangements.
Condolences can be made at www.mackeppingerfuneralhome.com.