Mrs. Barbara Ellen Russell Smith of Blue Ridge, Georgia, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 24, 2023. Mrs. Smith was born on February 8, 1937, to the late Mr. Carl Russell and Mrs. Edith Burger Russell. Mrs. Smith was a life-long resident of Fannin County.
Barbara was one of seven children and loved her family and life-long friends. Mrs. Smith attended McCaysville School until it burned in 1953, graduating from Epworth High School in 1954. After two years at Young Harris College, Mrs. Smith graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan College. She continued her education obtaining a Masters Degree from University of Georgia and specialist degree from West Georgia College while working and raising a family.
Mrs. Smith taught and served as an administrator in the Fannin County School System for over 35 years. She loved her students and was very proud of her student’s accomplishments in the district, state, and national competitions in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). Mrs. Smith was twice named the Georgia Business Teacher of the Year and Future Business Leader adviser of the year. She felt that God blessed her to get to teach and work with the young people of Fannin County.
Mrs. Smith was also very active in the First Baptist Church of McCaysville/Copperhill serving as a children and adult Sunday School teacher, Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) president, and working with the Golden Nuggets. Her real passion became the annual Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. She spent many hours during the year shopping and collecting items to fill hundreds of Christmas shoeboxes for children all over the world.
While Mrs. Smith had a very active and successful career, she was first a wife, a mother, and a friend. She met her late husband, Charles L Smith, while teaching at West Fannin High School, and was married until his death in 2018. She loved and sacrificed for her children to have experiences that she never had. Her children never doubted her devotion and love for them, their extended family and many life-long friends. Mrs. Smith never met a stranger and maintained friendships from her childhood, her career and her church throughout her life. She loved to travel, go for rides and spend time with friends for luncheons and get togethers.
Mrs. Smith is preceded in death by her husband, Charles L Smith; an infant son, David Timothy Smith; parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Russell, brother Robert Carl Russell and sister Shelba Russell Parham. She is survived by her children, daughter Joy Smith (Bill Voyles) and son Len Smith; siblings Carol Russell Ash (Gary), Frank Russell (Barbara), Larry Earl Russell, Mary Russell Turner (Charles) and many nieces, nephews, grand nieces/nephews.
Mrs. Smith’s service will be held at 3:00 PM, October 28, at Finch Funeral Home with internment at Crestlawn Cemetery in Copperhill, TN with Pastor Matthew McDaniel officiating. Family will accept visitors following the service at Finch-Cochran Funeral home, McCaysville. In lieu of flowers, Mrs. Smith and the family encourages you to honor and memorialize Mrs. Smith with donations to The Fannin County Christian Learning Center. Finch-Cochran of McCaysville, GA, is in charge of the arrangements.
Pallbearers: Jordan Pate, Chuck Brewster, Gary Ash, Chris Russell, Robby Russell, Andy Russell, Rob Russell, and Jamie Russell.
Honorary Pallbearers: Mike Ballew, David Ballew, David Brooks, Randy Pittman, Lonnie Cole, Gene Crawford, Ben Arp, Bob Welch, Ron Kimsey, Junior Lawrence, Bubba Horn, Larry Kimsey, Rene Bidez, Jim Quintrell, and Rusty Kaylor.
Saturday, October 28, 2023
3:00 - 4:00pm (Eastern time)
Saturday, October 28, 2023
4:00 - 5:00pm (Eastern time)