SMITH, BESS NOBLE (1932 ~ 2008). The following is an obituary for Bess N. Smith, spouse of Dr. Ralph Smith. The obituary was printed in the January 11, 2008 edition of the Austin American Statesman.
"Bess was born November 20, 1932 in Beaumont, Texas, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Noble. Her parents and two brothers, Charles and Dennis, preceded her in death. After graduating from Beaumont High School, Bess married Ralph M. Smith in June of 1951. She continued her education at TCU and Southwestern Seminary while her husband completed his education. Bess sang in the Travis Avenue Baptist Church choir, participated in the seminary wives' club and frequently accompanied her husband on preaching engagements, traveling the world with her husband.
Bess was blessed with a loving family including three children: Diane Smith Love and her husband Bill Love, Wallace Morgan Smith and his wife Lanette Smith, and Peyton Noble Smith and his wife Beth Smith. She was also blessed with seven grandchildren: Lisa Love Gilbert, and her husband Hayden Gilbert; Jeff Love, Madison Smith, Noble Smith, Martha Lauren Smith, Lincoln Smith and Scarlett Smith and two great grandchildren, Meredith and Luke Gilbert.
Bess committed her life to being a loving wife and mother. She took great joy in cooking and great pride in making sure her home was always immaculate. She delighted in supporting her husband, rearing her children, and being a homemaker. Her legacy is written in the accomplishments of her family.
During the 56 years Ralph and Bess were married, Bess served as the pastor's wife at Lake Hamilton Baptist Church, Arkansas; First Baptist Rosenberg, Texas; and Hyde Park Baptist Church. Being a pastor's wife with a congregation of thousands can be overwhelming. Bess filled her role as a pastor's wife with grace, charm, wit and dignity, but always gave her family priority. For years she was the Bible teacher for Alpha Delta Pi at The University of Texas. She taught teenagers and college students for more than three decades as she led their Sunday School classes. For many years she accompanied the youth choir on their mission trips, and chaperoned annual youth ski trips to Colorado, teaching many of the youth how to ski. She has been a member of the Austin Women's Symphony League, the Assistance League of Austin, Women's Tennis Association and Red Hat Society. She was proud to be a founding member of Austin Baptist Church.
Bess lived a very full life as the caregiver for her husband and family. Her smile, dry wit, babyfood carrot cake, love for U. T. athletics and selfless spirit will be deeply missed by all who had the joy of knowing her. Bess is survived by her loving husband, Dr. Ralph M. Smith, her family, and many friends.
Beyond being a Christian homemaker, supportive wife, doting mother, and loving grandmother, Bess possessed a contagious spirit of wit, charm, and a true zest for life.
She did her best to be like her Saviour, Jesus Christ, who 'went about doing good.' God called her home to Heaven on January 10, 2008.
The family will receive friends from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 11th at Austin Baptist Church, 9003 Waterford Center Blvd, Suite 100.
Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 12, 2008 at Hyde Park Baptist Church, 3901 Speedway. A family burial will take place at the Texas State Cemetery."
Further information is available through the Texas State Cemetery research department.
Memorials may be made to Austin Baptist Church, 9003 Waterford Center Blvd, Ste. 100, Austin, TX 78758 or to the charity of one's choice.