SMITH, Helen Esther Mitchell

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Helen Esther Mitchell Smith, of Blacksburg, Virginia died at home Wednesday, January 25, 2006.

She is resting now after a long and courageous battle with multiple myeloma for more than five years. Helen, the daughter of the late Oscar and Carolyn Spears Mitchell, was born April 16, 1928 and grew up in Lynchburg, Virginia.

She graduated from E.C. Glass High School in 1945 and from Madison College (J.M.U.) in the class of 1949, where she majored in Elementary Education. She taught in the public schools of Martinsville, Virginia and Prince Edward County, Virginia and in private day schools of the Blacksburg Presbyterian and United Methodist Churches.

Helen married Easley Stone Smith in 1951 and lived in Farmville, Virginia until moving to Blacksburg in 1956. She was devoted to her family, loved children, was an active member and served on many committees of the Blacksburg Presbyterian Church.

She enjoyed community activities, entertaining friends and Virginia Tech students in her home, playing bridge, traveling, Virginia Tech sports, gardening, cooking and P.E.O. She will be missed by many for her warmth, compassion, joy, hospitality and faithfulness.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her only sister, Rose Marie Mitchell Maloney and her husband, James Alfred "Dave" Maloney.

Surviving are Easley, her husband of more than 54 years; three sons and their wives, Blair Mitchell Smith (Debbie) of Orange Park, Florida, Steven Easley Smith (Jane) of Cary, North Carolina, and Douglas Stone Smith (Sioban) of Columbia, South Carolina; nine grandchildren, Rebecca and Caroline of Orange Park, Florida, Margaret, Walker and Lucas of Cary, North Carolina, and Zachary, Kaley, Gabby and Mason of Columbia, South Carolina. She is also survived by a number of cousins including Harold Spears of Ironton, Ohio and Russell Spears of Huntington Beach, California; her sister’s children, Nancy Maloney Ferguson of Concord, North Carolina, David Mitchell Maloney of Charlottesville, Virginia and Robert "Bob" Maloney of Poquoson, Virginia; and sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Anne Smith Palazzo and Edward Palazzo of Richmond, Virginia; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Randolph and Mary Smith of Temple, Texas.

Helen and her family wish to thank her many friends in her church, the community and the Multiple Myeloma Network of the Blue Ridge for their love, assistance, support and compassion throughout her long illness. She especially recognizes and thanks her oncologist, Dr. Harry McCoy, and his nurses, and the team of professionals and volunteers with the Carilion Hospice of the New River Valley for their loving care and compassion.

There will be a service of celebration and thanksgiving to God for her life at 11 a.m., Saturday, January 28, 2006 at Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, 701 Church St. with a reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be offered to The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, 51 Locust Avenue, Suite 201, New Canaan, Conn. 06840 or to Blacksburg Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 144 Blacksburg, Virginia 24063. Arrangements by McCoy Funeral Home, Blacksburg.