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Lena Marjorie Smith, 88

Lena Marjorie Smith of Columbus, IN, departed this life Wed., Aug. 19, 2009, at 3:32 a.m. at Mariner Health Care, Wilmington, NC, after a valiant fight with Lewy Body Dementia. She was born April 8, 1921, on Long Hungry Creek, near Red Boiling Springs, Tenn. She was the daughter of William P. West and Mollie Grey White West.

Her mother was a beloved school teacher in the Red Boiling Springs area. She and her brothers were abducted by her father and grandfather when she was four years old, and she did not see her mother again until she was about thirteen. Lena lived in Columbus, IN, from 1942 to 2007. She worked in production at various factories.  On the job, she stood up for workers when they were being mistreated but also spoke out when unions were at fault. She met her husband, Lester G. Smith, on the job when he was called during break to repair her machine.  They started talking and forgot all about fixing the machine.  They were married April 24, 1948. Together they worked with the youth of their church and their community, making a difference in many lives. She was a homemaker while her children were young. Her husband was injured in a motorcycle accident in 1967, and she cared for him until his death in 1969. She was determined that her children would get the education she had missed, and she worked and saved to help put both of them through college. Although her formal education was limited, she never ceased to learn. The only room in her house without a bookcase was the bathroom. She was an avid bird watcher and loved wild flowers, trees, and all of God’s creation and shared this love with others.  She was also a self-taught artist and a lover of poetry, history, and world geography. She was a member of New Hope Christian Church, Columbus, IN, where she taught Sunday School from 1948 to the late 1990s. It was her desire that everyone come to know the love of God and the hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ as she had. Survivors include her children, Linda (Ken) Gurganus of Wilmington, NC, and Barton Smith of Columbus, IN; a step-granddaughter, Sara Castellano of Rocky Mount, NC; a step-great-granddaughter, Lily Castellano of Rocky Mount, NC; a sister-in-law, Cleo West of Elizabethtown, IN; a brother-in-law, Normand Smith of Edinburgh, IN; five nieces and nephews: Connie West of Columbus, IN, Robert West of Clifford, IN, Marilyn (Dale) Harlow, of Ft. Dodge, IA, Michael Smith of Charlotte, NC, and Saralea (James) Howard, of Columbus, IN; and three cousins, David Carter of Liberty, Tenn., Joanna Christian of Gordonsville TN, and Linda Coons of Old Hickory, Tenn. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, two brothers, Webb and Ray West, and a nephew, Roy West. The funeral was conducted Sat., Aug. 22, at Barkes, Weaver & Glick Funeral Home on Washington Street, Columbus, IN, with the Rev. David Armstrong officiating. Burial was at Garland Brook Cemetery, Columbus, IN.