Jean Smith Padgett

Jean Smith Padgett

December 31, 2020, 81, La Grange

Jean Smith Padgett was given eternal healing on December 31, 2020. She was born in Lenoir County to the late Tommie M. Smith and Alice Mae Millard Smith on November 10, 1939. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a sister, Christine Pruitt; a step-daughter, Martha Marie Padgett; and a great-grandson, Evan.

One word sums up Jean: classy. No matter where she was or what she was doing, Jean was well-dressed, primped, and always looking good. Her hair was coiffed, her nails painted, and her lipstick matching her outfit. There were few things Jean enjoyed more than shopping for the perfect outfit and shoes. She took pride in her appearance and carried herself as the lady she was.

In all she did, Jean was competitive. She worked hard to be the best at whatever she was doing, and she hated to lose. When she became involved in anything, she gave it her best shot.

If you knew Jean, you loved her. Her personality roped everyone in. She was outgoing, had a wonderful sense of humor, and could talk to anyone she met. In her time at Western Sizzlin’, she made many friends with both coworkers and loyal customers. Folks would wait a half hour or more to be seated in her section and would come from near or far to eat when Jean was working.

Family and friends alike referred to her as “Mama Jean” and knew that she could be counted on. She was always willing to help others, but it was best not to cross her. She was known to hold a grudge or two but her forgiving heart would eventually overcome and she would let it go. Jean didn’t let anyone mess with her family and was the first to stand up to them in any circumstance.

A fierce “mama bear”, Jean loved her children like nothing else in the world. She was the first to be at their defense and the last to let them down. She loved her babies with her whole heart, and nothing could get in the way of that.

When Jean’s grandchildren came along, she was given a new sense of purpose. From the time she laid eyes on the first to the time she held the last, Jean was determined to be the greatest grandmother and their biggest fan. Her grandbabies had no better friend than the one they found in Jean.

Jean met and fell in love with Dexter while working at the restaurant. They sparked a friendship that blossomed into a marriage that lasted nearly three decades. Dexter knew in his heart that Jean was the love of his life.

Though the last few years were difficult for Jean, she persevered and believed in her heart that she would be well again. Her husband and family were close by her side as she continued to fight. As the old saying goes, “A lady always knows when to leave”, and on the last day of the year, Jean answered the call of her Savior, leaving behind the cares and burdens of this life and entering into her eternal reward.

A service to celebrate and remember Jean’s life will be held on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, at 11 a.m. in the chapel of Rouse Funeral Home. A committal service will follow at Pinelawn Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at the cemetery at the conclusion of the service.

Jean is survived by her husband of 28 years, Dexter Gene Padgett; six children, Larry G. Smith (Susan), Tommie Smith (Lora), Jeff Smith (Dondi), Glenn Smith, Robert Lee Outlaw, II. (Renee’), and Allison Outlaw; step-son, Dexter Padgett, Jr. (Sarah); sixteen grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; brothers, Edgar Smith and Tommy Ray Smith; sister, Carolyn Reynolds; and a host of nieces and nephews whom she loved as her own.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jean’s memory may be made to a Humane Society for the care of the animals that Jean so loved. Online condolences may be expressed at Arrangements are entrusted to Rouse Funeral Home, La Grange.