Funeral services for Mary Lula (Crites) Smith, 90, of Owasso, OK (formerly of Sperry, OK, were held Wednesday, December 26, 2018 at Cincinnati Avenue Church of Christ in Sperry, OK. Brother Lucian Farrar, Jr. officiated. Funeral Services were also held Wednesday, December 26, 2018 at East Point Baptist Church in Russellville, AR. Reverend Larry Pless officiated, and burial was in East Point Cemetery in Russellville, AR. Casket bearers were Shawn Jones, Brian Smith, Brandon Jones, Levi Lindsey, Landon Jones, Greysen Jones. Honorary casket bearers were Owen Lindsey and Dalton Adkins.
Mary was born March 13, 1928 in Russellville, AR to James Elmer and Mary Virlon (McAnulty) Crites. She passed away December 20, 2018 in Tulsa, OK.
Mary grew up on a farm and in 1948, she met Robert Smith, a friend of her brother, Dorman, and a year later, Mary and Robert married on October 12, 1949. Mary and Robert settled down and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, so Robert could attend college. In 1961, they moved to Oklahoma and began their careers as child care workers for the Turley Children’s Home (now Hope Harbor Children’s Home).
Mary devoted more than 30 years of her life to the children’s home, helping over 200 children, including two of their own, Randy and Jamie, whom they adopted through the home. In addition to working as a house parent, Mary also worked in the children’s home clothing room, food pantry, and mail room. She enjoyed teaching bible class, needlepoint, crocheting, painting ceramics, sewing, working in the garden, painting the wood work projects created by Robert and spending time with family and friends.
In 1986, Mary and Robert moved to Sperry, OK, where they continued to live into retirement. Mary lived a very happy life and was able to share it with those she loved most.
She is survived by her children, Randy Smith and wife, Brandy, and Jamie Jones and husband, Shawn; grandchildren, Brian Smith, Erica Smith, Kaitlin Bouchard and husband, Scott, Brittany Smith, Marissa Thomas, Dalton Adkins, Cody Balentine, Tyler Thomas, Brandon Jones, Lindsey (Jones) Lindsey and husband, Levi; 11 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, and many other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, James Robert Smith; parents, James and Mary Crites; sister, Bobby Ann Pooler, and brothers, Dewey Crites and Dorman Crites.
Memorial donations in Mary’s memory may be made to Hope Harbor, PO Box 1047, Claremore, OK 74017, hopeharborinc.org.
Arrangements and services were entrusted to Johnson Funeral Home, Sperry.
Online condolences to the family can be made at johnsonsperry.com.