Joan Kelly Smiley

Joan Kelly Smiley

April 7, 2021, 87, Goldsboro –

Joan Kelly Smiley, 87, beloved mother, wife and teacher, passed away on April 7, 2021 in Cary, NC. Born in Broadway, NC to Joseph C. and Jossie Wilson Kelly on October 17, 1933, she was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Lt. Col. (Retired) Ralph P. Smiley; six brothers: Vendral (Oma), Gilbert (Elsie), Robert (Ossie), Clarence, Moody and Frank (Evelyn) Kelly, and two sisters: Emma Kelly and Maggie Allen (Harvey). She is survived by four loving daughters: Lois Marshall of Las Vegas, NV; Susan Joan Smiley Baker (Scott) of Cary, NC; Tisha S. Daughton (David) of Raleigh, NC; and Kelly Wheeler of Grapevine, TX. She will be greatly missed by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren: David Marshall (Iten) and Brody of Gaithersburg, MD; Kathryn Johnson (Chad), Westin and Emery of Las Vegas, NV; Robby Baker of Mt. Pleasant, SC; Chris Church (Kelly), Carmela and Eloise of Raleigh, NC; Beth Church Menard (Chris) of Knightdale, NC; Colby Daughton of Raleigh, NC; Travis Wheeler (Paula) of Raleigh, NC and Nolin Wheeler of Fort Worth, TX; and many nieces, nephews and family members.

A graduate of Atlantic Christian College and East Carolina University, Mrs. Smiley had a long and distinguished career as an educator and school administrator in the Wayne County school system. Her many recognitions included NC Science Teacher of the Year. She considered her four daughters to be her greatest accomplishment.

Mrs. Smiley resided in Goldsboro, NC for over 52 years after serving 20 years as a devoted Air Force wife with countless addresses. Her hobbies included bird-watching, gardening, reading, and watching the light dance on the waters of Walnut Creek and the Pamlico River. Her gracious home was always welcoming, full of good food, books, art and activity. She was happiest when her table and home were filled with loved ones for family gatherings, holidays or extended visits. Her volunteer activities supported her children’s interests in school, church and Girl Scouts. She held leadership roles in the Red Cross, Officers’ Wives Club and other civic and educational organizations. She was a member of First Christian Church of Goldsboro, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and Delta Kappa Gamma. She wore many hats and served in many roles but will best be remembered as Meme.

Visitation will be held from 10:00 -11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at Seymour Funeral Home in Goldsboro, NC, followed by an outdoor graveside service at 2:00 p.m. at Rocky Fork Christian Church in Sanford, NC.

Memorials can be made to Rocky Fork Christian Church, 4246 Rocky Fork Church Road, Sanford, NC 27332 or to an organization that furthers the education of children.

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