The afflictions from Alzheimer’s ended peacefully and quietly on Nov. 9, 2012 for Cora Edith “Edie” May Turner Smith, of Gloucester, Va., one of the loveliest people that ever graced this earth.
Born on a farm in the Farmington section of Hampton to Richard Lyliston and Theresa Jane Bell Turner on Aug. 17, 1926, she was the last to survive her siblings, Junior, Ashley, Jimmy and Annie V.
Edie lived her life filled with family, friends, generosity, kindness, laughter and, most of all, love.
Edie was educated in Hampton, and was a proud 1943 Hampton High School alumnus and enjoyed reuniting with her “Crabber” schoolmates at their high school reunions. After graduation, Edie accepted employment at NACA, now known as NASA. Shortly thereafter, a young, handsome Aeronautical Engineer and WWII veteran caught her eye. Charlie and Edie courted, fell in love and married on Aug. 6, 1949. Together they shared a wonderful life and raised three sons at the Smith Family Compound on picturesque Chrisman Creek in the Dare area of York County.
In 1989, they moved to Millwood in Gloucester County. Alzheimer’s spared Edie the grief of losing her beloved husband, Charles Christian Smith Jr., after 62 years of marriage.
Edie had many wonderful gifts and talents, most especially her gracious sense of hospitality. She profoundly loved her family and friends and shared her home as the gathering place for countless happy occasions. Everyone was welcomed at Edie’s, first by her warm embrace, then by something good to eat. Her fried chicken was arguably the best in this hemisphere, but she was best known for her homemade pound cakes. Of equal fame were her homemade jams and jellies. Her pantry was kept abundantly stocked with neatly labeled Mason jars filled with homemade goodness. All who know Edie were probably, at some time, the lucky recipient of her hospitality, a homemade pound cake and a jar of jam.
Edie also took great pride and delight in her flower gardens. Her knowledge, mostly obtained at her mother’s knee, was her passion as was her desire to preserve and pass on the heirloom flowers of her childhood. The housework could wait, but the gardens could not. She loved nature and being outdoors and made certain that her foxgloves, daffodils, daylilies, iris and extensive perennial beds were kept pristine. She delighted in conducting tours of her gardens to friends that would stop by; moreover, she loved sharing the names and folklore of the flora and fauna she cultivated. Edie’s passion for gardening lives on as she made certain that all her garden guests took a “slip” of something home to plant.
Of life’s greatest blessing were Edie’s three boys. She was a devoted, hands-on mom who made certain they were exposed to the most important things in life, family, friends, and baseball. How blessed were her sons, Charles (Chris) Christian Smith III (Marge) of Towson, Md., Richard David and Stephen Bryon Smith (Karen), all of Gloucester. Her grandchildren, Chas, Tyler, Whitney, Evan, Ryan and great-granddaughter, Madison, had an exceptional grandmother that willingly and lovingly shared her time and talents with them.
Edie was raised on the front row of the Baptist Church, latter confirmed as an Episcopalian, and always a believer in Jesus Christ.
To the angels at the Piedmont at the Gardens of Warwick Forest who provided her loving care, our hearts are eternally grateful.
Her family honored her life at a visitation at Andrews Funeral Home, Gloucester, on Monday evening, Nov. 12, from 6:30-8 o’clock. A Celebration of Life was held at Andrews on Tuesday morning, Nov. 13, at 9 o’clock. Burial followed at 10:30 a.m. at Peninsula Memorial Park in Newport News. Afterwards, the family held a reception at the home of Stephen and Karen Smith, Gloucester. Fried chicken and pound cake were served.
Should you choose to honor Edie’s memory, the family gratefully appreciated donations to the Alzheimer’s Association, P.O. Box 1881, Gloucester, Va. 23061.