2010-10-27 / Obituaries

KATIE B. SMITH

Katie B. Jackson Smith, born August 15, 1915, was the only child of Lula Taylor Jackson and Henry Jackson of Miller County. She died in her home surrounded by family on October 20, 2010. Katie was educated in the public schools of Early and Miller counties. Had she had a motto it would have been, “You are never too old to learn.” Katie remained an avid student all of her life, always encouraging young people to educate themselves. She led by example continuing her own education through adult education programs, evening classes and in the church.

Katie married the late John Lester Lane on October 7, 1932. Two children were born into this union, Ms. Gwendolyn L. Lane, Colquitt, and Master Sergeant Rudolph V. Lane, US Army (Ret.) Philadelphia. A later marriage to Jim Smith was not blessed with children.

She accepted Christ in 1924 under the pastorate of the late Rev. M. H. Harris. After moving to Early County in 1927, she became a member of the Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church under the pastorate of the late Rev. S. B. Braiser. Returning to Miller County in 1934, Katie joined Beulah AME Church where she remained a loyal and active member serving as usher, Sunday school superintendent, teacher, secretary, trustee and stewardess.

Katie had a wonderful singing voice. As a young woman she joined the Belltones, a gospel group that traveled the tri-state area. Later she continued as singer and choir leader in local churches in Colquitt and was often engaged as soloist for church events.

When World War II broke out, she was one of millions of American women that did their part for their country. Katie always spoke of her time working for the war effort as a civilian at Bainbridge Airbase as one of the most rewarding in her life.

Katie’s involvement in community and church life are well documented. She was a member of the first Swamp Gravy production, an Election Day poll worker and columnist in the Miller County Liberal, writing “Ebony Dots and Dashes” about African-American life in Colquitt. She has received numerous awards for her work in the church; Laity Awards in 2002 and 2004, Certificates of Recognition as Layperson of the Year 2006, for her work in the AME Church Women’s Missionary Society, as well as awards for loyal and dedicated service from local churches. In 1996, Merritt and Sons presented her with a plaque in recognition of 32 years of loyal service.

Katie had an inquiring mind and served as local historian for the community. Using her skills and network of family and church friends all of the country, she made it her “business to know what you did not.” For anyone seeking information about their family; births, deaths or other events the call always went to Katie.

Katie also had an adventurous spirit and was never afraid to try new things. She enjoyed traveling, from her trips around Georgia singing the gospel to sightseeing at the Golden Gate Bridge in California; she was always ready to go. She made several visits to Philadelphia, New York City, Houston, and Washington D.C. often in company of family or on church events - trips she often wrote about in her newspaper column. Her last major trips at the “young” age of 94 were in 2009 to Florida to attend the Jones- Taylor Family Reunion and to Virginia to visit her greatgrandchildren.

Katie was the proud grandmother of Dr. Linda S. Lane of Gothenburg, Sweden, Ms. Georgia Burr of Quincy, FL, Ms. Kathy Lane, Mr. Ronald Lane and Mrs. Vicki Dunnell of Colquitt; great-grandmother of Patrick Burr, Melba Burr, Gwendolyn Morgan, April Harrison, Heather Grant- Butler and Brandon Lane; great-great-grandmother of Terry, Lakeshia, Moniqua, Josh, Deidra, Micheala, Brianna, KateĆ©, Te’shae, Victoria, Hailey, Madyson, Hannah and Timothy; and greatgreat great-grandmother of Lashanda; godmother to Eldora Miller, Geraldine Coven and Theresa Green. She was preceded in death by grandsons, Chris and Michael Burr and greatgreat great-grandson Kaden Morgan.

Katie was a mother of our community. She will be missed.

Funeral service was held Sunday, October 24, at Bethel Baptist Church at 4:00 p.m. Internment followed at Rocky Cemetery in Colquitt.

Merritt Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

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