I want to share the beautiful obituary written by my aunts and uncles to pay tribute to my paternal grandmother, Lucy L. Smoot:
LUCY LINTHICUM BENNETT SMOOT passed away peacefully at home at the age of 96 on March 3, 2021, after a short illness. She was surrounded and supported by her son and faithful caregiver, Rodney, and other loving family. She was born July 28, 1924, the 13th child of Rev. George L. and Fannie L. Bennett in Lester, West Virginia. Having lost her mother during childbirth, Lucy was provided the safety, security and generosity of surrogate parents, Mr. Will and Mrs. Lenora Watson of Widen, W.Va. After the death of Mr. Watson, Lucy went to live with her father in Lester, W.Va., at about age 12.
Four years later Rev. Bennett was sent to pastor the St. Paul AME Church in Madison, W.Va., where Lucy met the late Andrew Boyd Smoot when she and her father were guests at the 1940 annual Smoot Family Reunion. On many occasions Boyd recounted that fateful meeting and recalled that he declared upon first sight that she would be his bride.
They married six months later on March 23, 1941, in Madison. Boyd, a brick mason, and Lucy, a devoted homemaker, built their first and only home together. They raised seven children in that home and were separated after 58 years upon Boyd’s death in 1999. Lucy lived in the family home over 70 years and often spoke of it as her first real home.
Lucy was multi-talented and especially enjoyed crocheting and gifting countless afghans. She was a superb seamstress and often the go-to person in the community for special occasion garment creations and alterations.
Her cooking and baking talents were unsurpassed. She loved preparing a plethora of baked goods for family, friends, reunions, and community and church events. In 2019, she was recognized at the 90th annual Smoot Family Reunion as the oldest living woman in addition to the previous three years.
She was a remarkable woman defined by steadfast faith, graciousness and kindness. Her warm smile was infectious. She was a lovingly devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She had a particular affinity for children.
Lucy was an avid flower gardener. She delighted in canning vegetables harvested from Boyd’s vegetable garden and sharing the fruits of their labor with neighbors, friends and others in the community.
She was a devout Christian and member of the St. Paul AME Church in Madison until the membership dwindled to the last three remaining elderly members among which she was the eldest. During its thriving years she was a member of the Missionary Society and Usher Board. Determined to remain in fellowship with other believers, Lucy pursued another church home. She then joined the Maranatha Bible Missionary Baptist Church where she participated in Bible study and was acknowledged as Mother of the Church.
Lucy had a special love for reading and writing. At the age of 80 she authored a book titled “A Slice of Life from Star Route 2.” It gave new meaning to her noble profession of homemaking through her recipes, family stories of lessons learned, craftsmanship as a seamstress and much more.
Lucy was preceded in death by her husband, Andrew Boyd, and their daughter, Alice Carol Gentry. She is survived by six children, Phillip (Alice) Smoot of Winter Haven, Fla., Vera (Thaddeus) Taylor of Union City, Ga., Douglas Smoot of Institute, W.Va., Janice (Jerry) Ferguson of Louisville, Ky., Rodney Smoot of Madison, W.Va., Shelia (Dan) Price of Morgantown, W.Va.; 14 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren; and 11 great- great-grandchildren; a host of nieces and nephews, relatives and friends. Lucy left for her family a legacy of love, gratitude, kindness, generosity and old-fashioned goodness.
My last visit with grandma was spent making herstory as she made the Coal Valley News for early voting back in October. I was supposed to visit her again in February, but I didn’t make it. I have no regrets because I spent a lot of time with her. I was told that I wouldn’t have wanted to see her in the frail condition. We always had a good time visiting with one another. She loved to laugh, enjoyed good meals, going outside when the weather was nice, and social interactions.
My last time talking with grandma was a couple of weeks before she transitioned. I could hear in her voice that she was very weak. Her last words to me were, “I love you Kelsie, I love you, I love you.”
I love you too, Grandma, and always will.