BRISTOL — Willie Matalene Fugate Smith, 82, died on Friday, September 9, 2011, at Wellmont Hospice House, Bristol, TN.
Born October 25, 1928, in Kingsport, TN, she was the daughter of the late Claude Fugate and Verna Rhoda Ward Fugate. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by Lee Bruce Smith, her beloved husband of 59 years; and four siblings, James (Tom) Fugate, Irene Steffey, Lillian Steffey Smith and Joanne Crawford.
She is survived by: three daughters, Doris Prichard and husband, Wayne, of Knoxville, TN, Nadine Culberson and husband, Jerry, of Abingdon, VA, and Reba Roberts and husband, Mike, of Bloomington, IN.; sister, Stella Dickenson, of St. Paul, VA; and brother, Jerry Fugate and wife, Janice, of Dante, VA.; four grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.
After her children were grown, Willie pursued a lifelong ambition to become a nurse, returning to school at age 50 and graduating at the top of her class. She retired after 15 years of service with Johnson City Medical Center. She was of the Baptist faith and a member of the Abingdon Baptist Church, Abingdon, VA.
She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. Willie could talk to anyone, and usually figured out in the conversation that she was either related to the individual or knew someone in common. She loved to laugh and didn’t even need a punch line.
A funeral service is scheduled for Monday, September 12, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in the Morris-Baker South Chapel under the direction of Dr. Steven Pollard.
The family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. until time of service at 7:00 p.m.
A committal service will be conducted on Tuesday, September 13, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. in the Mt. Home National Cemetery. Family and friends are asked to assemble to leave Morris-Baker in procession at 10:30 a.m. Active pallbearers will be: Wayne and David Prichard, Jerry Culberson, Mike Roberts, Jonathan Bennett and Carl Fayne Smith.
The family would like to thank the staff at Asbury Steadman Hill, Kingsport, TN, for their kind and loving care over the past year and a half. Also, Wellmont Hospice for tenderly caring for her during her last days.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Wellmont Foundation Hospice Care, P.O. Box 1069, Kingsport, TN, 37662.
Online condolences are available at: www.morrisbaker.com.
In charge of arrangements: Morris-Baker Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2001 E. Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, TN 37601 or (423) 282-1521.