Mrs. Rudell Robinson Smith

Published 5:00 pm Monday, May 20, 2019

Rudell Robinson Smith, 93, died on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at her home in Augusta. Mrs. Smith was the beloved wife of the late James Calvin Smith, their marriage of sixty-six years a testament to their children and grandchildren of the value of commitment. She was born in Shawmut, Alabama, the second of seven children born to her parents, the late Lawrence C. Robinson and the late Florence Fetner Robinson.

In her younger days, Mrs. Smith left her home in Alabama to move to Atlanta, where she attended business school. After finishing school, she enjoyed a career with Bell Aircraft, where she provided final inspections for B29’s before they were placed in service in the latter years of World War II. Proficient in math, she enjoyed her work with General Motors and then duPont (Savannah River Plant), where she served in various accounting and payroll positions.

For many years, Mrs. Smith was active in her community and church, serving on the Women’s Board of University Hospital and as a member of Wildwood Garden Club. She served in various lay ministries at Hillcrest Baptist Church and then at First Baptist Church of Augusta, was a member of Women’s Missionary Union, Sanctuary Choir, and was Children’s Choir Coordinator for a few years. She loved working with very young children, though, and spent over 22 years teaching the two year-old Sunday School class at First Baptist Church. She could calm a colicky baby or a crying child with her soothing voice and gentle manner. Mrs. Smith is the mother of six children, the grandmother of thirteen, and the great-grandmother to thirteen. Her children, Pamelia Smith Dunaway (Price), James Calvin Smith, Jr., Kenneth Lawrence Smith (Martha), David Emerson Smith (Debbie), Calvin Robinson Smith (Debbie), and Carol Smith Hathaway (Alden), will miss her wise counsel, her sense of humor, and her incredible cooking.

Her grandchildren, Robert Mastroianni (Sarah), Wesley Price Dunaway, Kathleen Dunaway Sanders (Reid), James William Smith (Caitlin), Brian Emerson Smith (Sarah), Talley Rudell Smith, Dorn Smith Morris (Chris), Alden Moinet Hathaway, III (Morgan), William Joseph Dunaway, Mary Hathaway Peebles (Brian), Kenneth Lawrence Smith, Jr., Anna Hathaway Johnson (Joseph), and Abby Smith Malzer (Andrew) grew up looking forward to being at Grandmama’s, where they could enjoy the best chocolate milkshakes ever blended, Easter Egg hunts with their cousins, and other family gatherings. She is also survived by her honorary grandson, Jermel Bennett. All of her grandchildren knew that their time with Grandmama provided a special bond that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Her great grandchildren, Tony, Vance, Elizabeth, Copeland, Gavin, LG, Fathom, Hampton, Miles, Riley, Penny, Ryan, and Thompson enjoyed patting her hand and giving her hugs and kisses over the last few years. She had just been told of another great grandson, Benjamin, who will join the family soon.

Mrs. Smith is survived by her brother, Gerson Robinson (Mary), of LaGrange, a brother-in-law, Pat Smith (Betty) and a sister-in-law, Kathleen Smith Wallace, of Augusta. She was pre-deceased by her brothers, L.C. Robinson, Jr., Vinion Robinson (Alice), L.A. Robinson, and Fetner Robinson (Joan), and her sister, Lena Conway (Walter), and brothers-in-law, Grady Smith (Pearl) and Lee Wallace. Mrs. Smith is also survived by many extended family, whom she loved dearly.  The family is thankful for Mrs. Smith’s caregivers from Home Help Companions and MSA Hospice, who brought peace and comfort to her.

A visitation is planned for Thursday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Thomas Poteet and Son. Mrs. Smith’s family and friends will gather to celebrate her life on Friday, May 24 at 11:00 a.m. in Storey Chapel at First Baptist Church of Augusta, with Dr. William Dyer and Dr. Rodger Murchison officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Preschool Children’s Ministry at First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way Ext, Augusta, GA 30909.