Lillian S. Smith,
Amazing Woman, Very Special Lady, Loving Matriarch
Definition of matriarch
:a woman who rules or dominates a family, group, or state; specifically :a mother who is head and ruler of her family and descendants
Lillian ruled with love for 93 years!
March 5th 1924 to October 8th 2017
Lillian was born on March 5, 1924 in Norfolk Virginia the daughter of Rufus Small and Pearl Temple Small. Lillian was a recognized professional within the Tidewater Automobile Dealer Associations, working as an office manager for several local automobile dealers in in the Norfolk Virginia area during her career which ended in her late 70's after a stroke. She was also a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Division 5 in Norfolk. Lillian was a single mother raising her son after the early death of her husband Merrill W. Smith in 1968 also of Norfolk Va. She was an extremely dedicated, loving mother and extremely proud of her son and his accomplishments. Everyone acquainted with Lillian knows she was one of the kindest and most generous people in the world. She gave all that she had and loved endlessly without limits those who came into her life. Many that met her adopted her as their mother and she gladly accepted them as she enjoyed giving and loving more then anything in her life. She was our matriarch and her expanded family took in her stepchildren, neighbors and friends and loved them like her own. She was respected, admired and loved by everyone who met her. Lillian was a truly beautiful woman in every aspect with a brilliant mind and a huge heart.
On October 8th 2017 at 8:11 am Lillian passed away in Ft Lauderdale Florida where she had been residing with her son. She was an amazing woman with unstoppable strength and an incredible will to live, surviving strokes, breast cancer, bone cancer, and heart attacks. Her mind was perfect and she could still balance her checkbook at 93. Lillian was a true matriarch who lived 93 glorious years but it was time for her to rest now and be with God. She did so much while on this earth for so many that she will never be forgotten. God is lucky to have her now as his newest angel. She will surely make her mark in heaven as she has here an earth.
Lillian is survived by her son Merrill Brooks Smith, his intended Dr. Maria Magalhaes, her daughter Rosanna Rhea, and her husband Clarence J Rhea III, her grandchildren Clarence J Rhea IV, and his wife Meredith M Rhea, Christopher M. Rhea, and his wife Ashley L Rhea and great grand children Lyla and Cody.
Lillian was preceded by her husband Merrill W. Smith, her stepson Mitchell Lawrence Smith and her 4 siblings, Mildred, Emily, Helen and Billy.
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