Obituary: Nancy Smith

Nancy Rankin Smith, 82, died Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 at The Hermitage Retirement Center in Rockingham, N.C., following an extended illness.

A graveside service will be conducted on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014 at 11 a.m. at Eastside Cemetery in Rockingham with Rev. Mike Sykes and Rev. Allison Farrah officiating. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, Sept. 24, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Carter Funeral Home in Rockingham and at other times at Doug and Robin’s home, 1330 Carolina Drive, Rockingham.

Nancy Smith

Nancy Smith

Nancy was born Sept. 29, 1931 in Derby, N.C., a daughter of the late Jesse Wallace and Rosa Hart Rankin. She was a 1949 graduate of Ellerbe High School, where she lettered in women’s basketball, and a 1950 graduate of King’s Business College inCharlotte, NC. Nancy and her husband, Donald Harvey Smith, were among he last couples to wed at old Jones Springs United Methodist Church when they were married on Oct. 14, 1950.

Besides her parents, Nancy was preceded in death by her husband, Don, on June 15, 2010; by three brothers, Blair Rankin of Whitmire, SC, William W. “Doc” Rankin of Jackson Springs, and Earl C. Rankin of Charlotte; by two sisters, Mary Lou R. McCrummen of Aberdeen, N.C., and Maude R. Stuart of Badin, N.C. She is survived by two sons, Douglas H. Smith and his wife, Robin of Rockingham, and William H. Smith and his wife, Rachel, of Candler, N.C.; one grandson, Benjamin Bradley (Brad) Smith, of Candler, N.C.; and by numerous nieces and nephews.

Growing up on her parents’ farm instilled Nancy with both a strong work ethic and a deep Christian faith. Her appreciation of fresh vegetables, along with her love of animals, began on the farm; and, she was noted among family and friends, alike, for her cooking skills. Nancy took much pleasure from hours of preparing meals to host family and friends. Sometimes she would display a playful sense of humor, following the blessing, by exhorting her guests to “grab it and growl!”  In the Church she taught Sunday School to young children for a number of years, and, was very often among the first to organize food and assistance to others during times of sickness and death. For many years she was a member of First United Methodist Church in Rockingham.

Nancy had fond memories and made so many friends during her employment at several of the local banks between 1951 and the 1970’s. She was proud, of the friendships she formed during her service as  book keeper at Samaritan Colony in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Shortly afterward, Nancy and a close friend, Doris Baxley, fulfilled a dream when they co-founded and operated Food and Flowers Catering Service for nearly a decade.

During the late 1990’s Nancy contended with a slow decline into dementia resulting from a degenerative brain disease. One of her finest moments occurred, however, early on Jan. 18, 2003, when she mustered the strength to pierce the veil of dementia and summon help for her husband as he was suffering a stroke. This may have saved his life, and she was able to make some contributions, early on, to his rehabilitation.

Many thanks are extended to the staff of The Hermitage Retirement Center for the love and care they extended to Nancy during her nearly 9 years with them.  Sincere appreciation is extended, as well, to the staffs of Community Hospice, and to RichmondCounty Hospice for the care and concern displayed to Nancy over her final years. Funeral services to the Smith family are entrusted, with deepest thanks, to Carter Funeral Home of Rockingham.

Condolences may be made online at

Paid obituary

The Pee Dee Post
Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

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