Floral 11

Mary Lee Smith

November 28, 1936 ~ September 21, 2021 (age 84)

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Mary was born November 28, 1936, in San Marcos, Texas. She was the second eldest child of the late Ernest and Bessie Roland. Mary Lee Smith whose name was often mispronounced as May Lee and Marilee would say, "I don't understand what is so difficult about my name." She would utter "um" and shake her head.

Mary graduated from Carver High School and later attained her certificate for nursing. She didn't continue on this path so she started working at Lakeway Inn and Resort as a Manager. Later, she learned data processing and worked for Internal Revenue Services, and retired as a mail clerk and data processer at State Board Control. She married her high school sweetheart, Granvil Smith who also preceded her in death.

Throughout Mary's life, she overcame many attacks on her health and continued to live life to the fullest. She was a strong resilient individual and believed God wasn't going to put more on her than she could bare. In 2008, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and vascular dementia.

Before this diagnosis, Mrs. Smith was a faithful and active steward in the life of the church at St. James Missionary Baptist of Austin, Texas, St. John United, and First Baptist of Lockhart, Texas. She received Christ as her Savior at an early age under the leadership of the late Rev. L. R. James where she taught Sunday School, was the Director of The Baptist Training Union, Assistant Director of the Junior Usher Board, served on the Senior Usher Board, and Mission. She later joined Saint John and continued serving the Lord in the same compacity as before and became President of Mission II. In 1989, Mrs. Smith moved her membership to her current church, St. James Missionary Baptist. My Mom wasn't one to sit down in the pews and watch others serve God. She believed and would tell her two oldest grandkids "We Are Soldiers In The Army." Once again she became involved in ministry and served as an Usher, sung in the Senior Saints Choir, and was a member of the Mission. She was going to attend church and serve the Lord regardless of attacks on her health. Although she was recovering from major surgery, she wanted to attend church and hear BW. The name she fondly called her pastor. Mrs. Smith served as Secretary for the Guadalupe District Association, Secretary for Mission II, Member of the Citywide Ushers in Austin, Citywide Ushers in San Antonio, President of Ladies in Yellow (a hostess organization for banquets) Citywide in San Antonio.

She enjoyed spending time with family, cooking, and playing dominoes. Her passion was visiting the elderly, sick, and homebound. Mary was quite loquacious and the glue and historian of the family. She demonstrated her compassion and generosity by opening her doors to those in need. Mary knew no strangers, and she was never too busy to help out wherever needed. Mary mentored her first cousin and was instrumental in assisting her in fulfilling her goal. Her life was a living example of John 9:4 - "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh; when no man can work." This was a favorite scripture for she had many.

After moving to Katy, Texas with her daughter, she continued to be surrounded by the word of God through virtual service on YouTube. They would often have devotions and on Sunday Mary would watch TCWW services. She would listen to her daughter read another favorite scripture, "Psalms 31" and play her favorite songs by the Williams Brothers, James Cleveland, Shirley Ceasar, and many others. On a few occasions, her daughter would attempt to sing and Mary would slowly raise her hand to shield her ear from the unjoyful noise. It was hilarious!

In the hours before Mary transitioned from her earthly tent to Glory, her daughter called her granddaughter and Mary listened to them talk. Her granddaughter prayed while her daughter knelt and whispered into Mrs. Smith's ears and told her how she was the best mother a girl could have and how much she loved her.

Mary is survived by her two children Sharmaine Vital and Joseph Roland; brothers, Ernest Roland, Thomas Roland (Barbra); sisters, Gladys Hunter, Alline Brite (Eddie); granddaughters, Shemetris Vital, Aliceson Stiles, Akira Roland, January Roland; grandson, Shannon Vital; and great-grandchildren; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer Association (alz.org) in memory of Mary L. Smith. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Lee Smith, please visit our floral store.


October 7, 2021

5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
King-Tears Mortuary, Inc.
1300 E 12th St
Austin, TX 78702

Celebration of Life
October 8, 2021

1:00 PM
St. James Missionary Baptist Church
3417 East Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Austin, TX 78721

October 8, 2021

3:00 PM
Cook Walden Capital Parks
14501 N. IH 35
Pflugerville, TX 78660

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