Bessie L. Smith, 77, entered her heavenly home with family at her side on Thursday, November 3, 2022. She was born November 17, 1944, in Virginia, Illinois. Bessie was the daughter of the late Ira Dean and Sadie C. (DeGroot) Norris.
Bessie was married to Bennie Smith on August 19, 1960, in Rushville, Illinois. Bennie preceded her in death on January 4, 2021, after celebrating 60 years of marriage. Bennie and Bessie moved to the Lebanon area and called it their home since 1972.
Bessie was a homemaker and loved gardening and flowers, especially sunflowers. She planted and grew all types of flowers, vegetables, and fruit trees. She canned and preserved and blessed others with each bountiful harvest.
Bessie believed and lived a strong Christian faith. She and Bennie had attended and been a member of Lebanon Rock Church for forty years. Throughout the years, she faithfully served in capacities as the Missions Director, Community Thanksgiving Dinner Coordinator and Food Pantry Administrator. She has also served and supported multiple other ministries. Due to the pandemic and health concerns, Bessie recently attended Fairview Congregational Christian Church.
Survivors include three daughters, Pamela Smith of Lebanon, Michelle Smith of Lebanon, and Lisa Adams of Walkerton, Indiana; four grandsons; a sister, Doris Brant of Danville, Illinois; half sisters, Betty Hoover and Leah Dick, both residing in Iowa.
Private Family Services will be held at Myers’s Mortuary in Lebanon, Indiana. Bessie will be laid to rest next to Bennie at Brown’s Wonder Cemetery in Lebanon, Indiana.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that Bibles be donated in memory of Bessie at www.gideons.org. Cards of loving thoughts and prayers are welcomed and greatly appreciated.