Mother Juanita (Andrews) Smith, 88, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at Sprenger Healthcare in Mishawaka.
Mother Smith was born in Blytheville, Arkansas on September 24, 1931 to the union of Howard and Madie Alfie (Blackburn) Andrews. She attended school and completed her education in Arkansas. She moved to Elkhart, Indiana to help her sister with her children and stayed to make it her home.
She married Onnie Leroy Smith April 27, 1957 in Elkhart and was a faithful, dutiful wife until his death. Mother Smith was invited to a revival by a friend that worked with her and she attended the revival and was saved and filled with the Holy Ghost in 1959. She served under the leadership of Pastor Weldon D. Lockhart until his death. She then served under Superintendent Pastor Leonard Brooks until he transitioned and her Current Pastor and nephew Superintendent James W. Andrews Jr. She was faithful to the Greater Wayside Temple COGIC where she served all of her saved life. She became a licensed evangelist in 1961 under the leadership of state supervisor Beluah Hatchett. Mother Smith served the numerous capacities in the church: District Missionary, Church Mother, Evangelist Missionary, Sunday School Superintendent, Young Women’s Christian Council President, Prayer and Bible Band President, and last but not least the District Mother of the E.A. McNeely District. She worked the work of Him that sent her while it was day for she knew the night would be coming. She touched the lives of many people from all walks of life.
Her favorite scripture was St. John 14 and all that were around her knew that “Obedience is better than sacrifice”. She demanded obedience to leadership at all cost!
Mother Smith worked various jobs: The Montagano family as housekeeper for 27 years, Fly Traps Restaurant as cook and food prep, Elkhart Nursing Home as a nurse’s aide for five years, The Aborgast family as a nanny from 1952, Hoosier Laundry for five years and Elkhart Hotel. These were not just employer relationships, they were lifelong friendships which includes Babette (Dr. Richard) Boling, Beverly Grace, Beth Ann Montana and Belinda (Paul) Bachman.
She leaves to cherish fond memories of her; four grandchildren, Demario Harris, Onniesha Harris, Genita Smith, and Monica Smith; thirteen great-grandchildren; sister-in-love, Mo. Esther Mae Andrews; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousin, and her Greater Wayside Family. She also leaves her caregivers and adopted children, McIlwraith (Veronica) Peoples.
She was preceded in death by her husband Onnie Leroy Smith; her parents; two sons, Onnie L. Smith Jr. and Deshawn Smith; sisters, Elviry (Holliday) Burtis and Madie l. (Andrews) Holt; four brothers, James Andrews Sr., Frank Andrews, Kent Andrews and Wayne Andrews.
Visitation for Mother Smith will take place Friday, April 24th from 10 AM to noon at Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home. A graveside service will follow at Prairie Street Cemetery.
Due to state regulations at this time, visitation will be limited to a certain number entering the funeral home at a time.
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