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1939 WillieMae 2023

Mother WillieMae Smith

April 9, 1939 — September 2, 2023

Harrisburg

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Life began for Mother WillieMae Smith on April 9, 1939 in Craven County, North Carolina.  She was the daughter of the late Odessa, Sr and Eva B. (Raynor) Chapman, she was the eldest of thirteen children which included nine girls and four boys.  She was affectionately known by her family as “Willie” or “Aunt Mae” and by her extended family and friends she was affectionately known as “Mrs. Mae” and “Mrs WillieMae”.

WillieMae’s parents raised her and her siblings in church.  Her father would read the bible to them daily.  She faithfully attended Alum Spring Church of Christ, North Carolina with her parents and siblings, she gave her life to the Lord during a Sunday church service.  From that time forward, WillieMae made herself available for “Good Works,” for the Kingdom of God, by serving her husband, children, family, friends and whoever she met along the way.

WillieMae attended and graduated from the Newbold High School in Fort Barnwell North Carolina.  After graduating from high school, she relocated to Harrisburg PA, where she met and married her husband, Leonard.  Through this union, they had six children, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.  Williemae attended the New Jerusalem Freewill Spiritual Methodist Church with her husband, family, and friends where her mother-in-law was the Pastor, Rev. Willabelle Smith.  She raised her children in church and always found a way to reach out to her neighbors and friends.  Along with raising her children, Williemae owned and operated her in-home daycare for several years.  She was dedicated to feeding the poor and hungry from her family home along with sharing the hope that comes through Jesus Christ. Each year she organized a ministry where she would provide school supplies for disadvantaged children.  Her goal was to equip the youth with what they needed to have a better learning experience.

WillieMae was a faithful member of the Mount Calvary Church of God in Christ with her family, she was involved with the Senior Choir, Bible Study, Bible Band, Children’s Church, Tuesday, and Friday night services.  She loved fellowshipping with her Mount Calvary Church family, Pastor, Superintendent Doc R. Gilmore. Her favorite scripture was Psalm 27:14, Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

In WillieMae’s spare time she loved traveling to North Carolina to spend time with her family, she traveled to Alaska and many other places with her husband.  She loved shopping, cooking, gardening, and scrapbooking; she established her very own card ministry (WillieMae’s Cards) and she would send cards to encourage family and friends. She also loved being a part of her daughters’s ministry, Psalm of Praise by Evangelist Pamela Smith where they would read scripture to encourage others. Mother WillieMae Smith was a “Woman of Excellence,” and always shared the good news of “Jesus Christ,” with her family.

WillieMae is survived by her children, Pamela Smith, Aaron Smith, Sonya Smith (George) Miller, Jonathan Smith and a brother in-law Deacon Raymond (Gwendolyn) Smith.  Her husband, Deacon Leonard M. Smith, Sr., daughter Sister Aliese R. (Smith) Dawson, and her son Brother Leonard M. Smith, Jr, preceded her in death. 

Mother WillieMae’s life and legacy will also be cherished by her grandchildren Robert Dawson, Jr., Jarell Dawson, Matthew Dawson, Nadia Miller, George Miller, Jr., Natasha Miller and Jonell Smith; and six great grandchildren Tyrell, Ahmir, Hunter, Isaiah, Coby and Zayne.

Also, to celebrate her life are six sisters, Pearlie Chapman Peterson, and Christine Chapman of Grifton North Carolina, Ellen Chapman Henderson (Marion), and Diane Chapman Joyner (Ricky) of Jacksonville North Carolina, Catherine Chapman Reid (James) of Walkertown, North Carolina, Vera Chapman of Harrisburg, PA; Three brothers; Odessa Chapman Jr. (Marianne) of Charlotte, North Carolina, Michael Chapman (Colette) of Virginia and Johnnie Chapman of Oxnard, California.

In addition, to celebrate her life are two aunts Alice Moore and Geraldine Grady of New Jersey; special cousins Saundra and Rhonda Bell; Goddaughters, Minister Deb Buckner-Miller, Sister Rosy Crankfield and Godsons, Brother Mark Hawthorne, Brother Michael Nicholson, Deacon Jimmy Green and Pastor Jimmy Reeves, and a host nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.  

 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mother WillieMae Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Viewing

Monday, September 11, 2023

10:00 - 10:45 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, September 11, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Burial

Monday, September 11, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens

6701 Jonestown Rd, Harrisburg, PA 17112

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