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Cleveland Funeral Home Chapel
Thursday March 5th, 2020
12:00pm - 2:00pm

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Lillie Mae Smith

DREW - Lillie Mae Summers Smith, age 84, of Drew, MS, passed away Monday, March 02, 2020, at the North Sunflower Hospital in Ruleville, MS. 

Visitation will be held Thursday, March 5, 2020, from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM at the Rome Baptist Church in Rome, MS.  A Celebration of Life Funeral Services will follow at 2:00 PM in the Rome Baptist Church Sanctuary.  Burial will be at the Drew Cemetery.  Reverend Mike Stovall will officiate the services.


Lillie was born on June 21, 1935, to Lazarus Earl and Mary Dell (Wilson) Summers in Shaw Mississippi, they later moved to Ruleville, MS where Lillie attended Ruleville, MS Schools and graduated from Drew High School.  Lillie worked as a telephone operator for Bell South, Baxter’s Laboratory for 17 years and in 1981 she went to work for the Mississippi State Penitentiary where she was the first female postal mail carrier for the units, and the first female officer to work in an all-male housing unit before becoming the Personnel Officer before her retirement. Lillie loved her family and spending time with them. Also, she enjoyed playing Scrabble, working in her yard, and listening to Gospel Music. Lillie was a member of Rome Baptist Church for many years where she taught Sunday School until just a couple of years ago.

She was preceded in death by her parents Lazarus and Mary Dell Summers, husband Rudolph Smith, two sisters, Sallie Brewer and Edna porter a brother William "Sonny" Summers and a son-in-law Ollie Bryant.

Lillie is survived by Daughter, Wanda (Donald) VanEtten of Edwards, MS.  Daughter, Cherri (Todd) Rickels of Drew, MS.  Daughter, Kathy Bryant of Raymond, MS.  Sister, Margarette Mitchell of Madison, MS.  Sister, Mary Ellen "Sissy" Riddell(Paul) of Brandon, MS, and a sister in Law, Joy Guest (Robert) of Onalaska, TX.  two granddaughters, Bridget Rickels and Crystal VanEtten, three grandsons Glen (Rikki) Rickels, Chris VanEtten, and Mark Bryant. One great-granddaughter, Lily Todd Rickels. She also leaves a host of nieces and nephews to cherish her memory.


Pallbearers are 3 grandsons, Glen Rickels, Christopher VanEtten, Mark Bryant, David Collins, Guy Legg, and David Burchfield.


Memorials may be made to Rome Baptist Church c/o David and Renee Collins at 68 Ward Riddick Rd Tutwiler, MS 38963.


Cleveland Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. The on-line guest register may be signed at www.clevelandfuneralhome.net.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lillie Smith, please visit our flower store.


Other family members left behind were sister-in-law, Ann Summers, and brother-in-law, Davis Brewer.

Kathy Bryant Mar 21 2020 12:00 AM

My husband and I, Frank and Bobbie Grammer are heart broken of Ms. Smiths passing. Frank was very close to Ms. Smith. We did not know of her home going. We worked together for years at the prison at Parchman, Mississippi. All my years of working with Ms. Smith, we had that motherly feeling toward her. I Frank Grammer is heartbroken. May she Rest In Peace. Our prayers goes out to the family.

Bobbie Grammer Mar 10 2020 12:00 AM

So sorry to hear of your mothers passing. I remember so well her friendly smile as she would greet us at quarterly gospel signings. It was a joy to see you and your mother so dedicated to singing duets about the live Christ has for us. May that same Christ bring you comfort as you remember the words of so many of your songs you sang together in His Name. God bless, Cathy Conico and for my late husband John.

Cathy Conico Mar 5 2020 12:00 AM

May she rest in peace.

Cbalducc Mar 3 2020 12:00 AM

To Lillie[s family I am sorry of her passing I worked with many of her sisters & in-laws at Baxter good woman.

Jimmie Collier Mar 3 2020 12:00 AM

Such a sad day. Many memories of this wonderful lady and her family. You all will forever have a place in my heart.

Bill Hunter Mar 3 2020 12:00 AM