Service time for Gatha Jean Heard Smith will take place Saturday, October 10th at 11:00 A.M. at Shepherd Street Cemetery Minden, LA with Pastor Craig Williams officiating. Visitation will be held at New Light Missionary Baptist Church, 413 W.R. Reeder Street Minden, LA on Friday, October 9th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Gatha Jean Heard Smith passed on Oct 6, 2020 in Minden, LA at 83 years of age. She was born on February 20, 1937, to Mr. Jewel and Mrs. Irma Lucille Heard in Minden, Louisiana.
She united with the New Light Baptist Church at the age of nine. Member of the Junior Choir; Home Made Mission Band and Musician for the Church Sunday School. Served as musician for several other churches before graduating from Webster High School in 1955. After graduating from Webster High School, she enrolled in Arkansas Agriculture and Mechanical Normal College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas to obtain a degree in Medicine. A tragedy occurred in her family and she came home to help take care of her grandmother.
In 1957 she united in Holy Matrimony with John Isaac Smith and two daughters were born to this union. In 1962 was initiated into Williams Chapter #173 O.E.S. Lodge. Graduated from Grambling in 1964 with a B. S. Degree in Speech and Drama with a minor in Social Studies in Secondary Education; attended Northwestern State University, Centenary College. Studied overseas in Italy, Switzerland, Greece and received a Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology from Louisiana Technical Institute in 1967; worked as Speech/Language/Hearing Therapist, was appointed Administrative Assistant and retired from the Webster Parish Public School System after thirty-years of service.
In 1989, she researched, wrote the script and organized the “Parade of States Working Together in Peace, Love and Harmony” Program for her Church, New Light Baptist Church. The original program was presented in several local churches with the help of Minnie Hampton and was shared with some out of State Churches. In 1971, she organized the first 1955 Webster High School Class Reunion due to the loss of their first classmate. In 1975, the class of 1955 invited WHS classes 1950-1960 to join their second every five year’s reunion. In 1980, all WHS classes, 1924-1974 were added to ’55’s Celebration and was noted as the WHS Reunion of Classes. Held membership in NEA, LRTA, and NAACP. Served as a musician for a number of Baptist Churches and one Methodist Church for over 60 years.
Preceded in death by: John Isaac Smith, Husband; Jewel and Irma Lucille Taylor Heard, parents; Melvin James and Malissa Brantley Walker, John O. and Dollie Taylor, grandparents; Albert Willie and Ethel Banks Taylor, Sr., aunt, and uncle; one great-uncle, several great-aunts, two first cousins, Errick and John Roger Taylor; one-second cousin Casine Timmons Carter; one son-law, Jackie Banks.
Cherished Memories Left To: Two daughters, Stacy LaCheryl Greenard Banks, Dr. Valerie Irmaneice (Dr.Donald) White, (Arcadia, LA); Five grandchildren, Donald Scott White, Jr., Simsboro, LA; Krayland Shartrez Greenard, Kelton Kyle (Charlotte), Minden, LA; Alexis Shera-Niece White, LaGatha Valexis Bridges, Arcadia, LA; seven great-grandchildren Tevin J’Mar, JaKobe LeBush, Kyland LaJohn, Makyla Nichelle, JaKorien LeBush Greenard, C. J. Combs and one great grandchild, Amira Greenard, Minden, LA; Freddie Louise and Mark Shaw, Shreveport, LA; Elaine Taylor (James) Shepherd, Albert Willie (Linda Sue) Taylor, Jr., Avery (Diane) Taylor, Earl (Tosa) Taylor, Francis Brown, Minden, LA; Claude Jenkins and Rosie Gilbert, Springhill, LA; Leola Hawkins Children; Minden, LA; sister-in-laws, Evvie Ruth Smith, Minden, LA; Loretta Smith, Cotton Valley, LA; Charlene Iverson, Arcadia, LA; JoAnn Roux, Cleveland, Ohio, Joyce(Dale) Murray, two brother-in-laws Leon (Beverly) Smith, Elijah (Veronica) Smith, Dallas, TX, Best Friend, Helen Thornton Terrell; Special Sons: Darrell Rushing, Houston Texas; Jimmy Stovall, Vertis Clark, Sheltric Hill, and Elijah Phenix, Minden, LA; other relatives and friends.
Funeral Directors: Doyle Funeral Home in Minden