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18 January 2007

Volunteer Loses Battle with Cancer

Article from the Jacksonville News is reprinted here in its entirety.

By: Margaret Anderson
News Staff Writer

Carol Smith

Even cancer couldn’t hamper Carol Smith’s passion for living or her quest to help others.

In June, Carol went into the hospital for gallbladder surgery. That’s when the cancer was discovered. She wasn’t given any hope. It had progressed to several of her organs.

Shaken but not daunted, Carol went home and continued to live her life as a friend and volunteer. She did so until the treatments and the disease slowed her and she eventually lost her life Jan. 11 at NHC in Oxford.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church. Rev. Bill Etheridge will officiate. The family will receive friends in the parlor an hour before the service.

Carol’s friend Kenneith Calvert remembers working in charitable organizations with her.

“Carol did so much volunteer work that we could give her the title of ‘Miss Volunteer of Jacksonville,’” said Calvert. “So many groups will miss the extra hands and feet she provided.”

As a tutor and volunteer at Kitty Stone Elementary School for the past nine years, Carol worked with many teachers, including Kitty Kirby.

“She worked with students who would benefit from extra assistance in reading,” said Kirby. “Not only did these students make great strides in reading, they learned to enjoy the books and material they were reading. This is all because of Carol’s enthusiasm and love of reading. She would tell stories to the students and bring in materials to help their understanding of the reading material. The children looked forward to their tutoring sessions each week.”

Kirby said that Carol was a personal friend to the students and didn’t forget their birthdays, Christmas or other holidays. She also volunteered to work at the schoolbook fairs and was a big supporter of the fifth- and sixth-grade Language Arts Olympiad.

“She has truly touched the lives of many of our students,” said Kirby.

Born in Bluffton, Ohio, Carol received a bachelor’s in education from Bluffton College. She worked as a home economist for Ohio Power Company and later served as district director for Camp Fire Girls in Albuquerque, N.M. She was a reservationist for Braniff Airlines in Dallas and Kansas City, Kan., and worked for the U.S. Government at Sandia Base and White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Later she was a service representative with ATT in Washington, D. C.

Her last job as support services coordinator in the College of Commerce and Business Administration at Jacksonville State University lasted 14 years.

Carol’s travels included 25 countries. She lived in two of them — Thailand (Bangkok) and Panama (Panama City). She moved to Jacksonville in 1979.

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Christopher Andrew and Kerry Parker Smith of West Point, Ga.; a sister and brother-in-law, Roberta and Thomas Reiter of Pemberville, Ohio; a niece, Melissa Hause Reiter of Chicago; a nephew, Dr. Jeffrey Reiter of Seattle; and a nephew, Craig Reiter, his wife, Amy, and their children, Grace and Lydia of Elmore, Ohio.

Carol coordinated the Jacksonville Christian Outreach Center’s Christmas book project for three years. She volunteered with the American Red Cross and served as a director of the Jacksonville Exchange Club for two years as well as door prize committee chair for seven years, earning money for Jacksonville charities.

As part of her work with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, she coordinated training for the adult literacy program and gave income tax assistance for the elderly for two years. She worked in 2003 with the Jimmy Carter Habitat for Humanity. She served on the Jacksonville Medical Center Women’s Advisory Council for two years and was president of the JSU Retirees for two years. She was treasurer of the Inter Se Study Club for five years.

Carol was named 2006 winner of the Jacksonville Exchange Club’s Book of Golden Deeds. The Cottaquilla Girl Scouts named her the 1998 Woman Committed to Excellence Outstanding Professional. She was the Inter Se Study Club’s Woman of the Year for two years.

A 21-year member of the First United Methodist Church, Carol chaired the worship committee two years.

Carol was an Auburn University fan and was known for her knowledge of and love of birds and needlepoint.

Carol’s giving continued after her death. She donated her body to the Gift of Body program offered by the Alabama Organ Center, the International Institute for the Advancement of Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Memorial donations can be made to Jacksonville Christian Outreach Center, 206 Francis St., West, Jacksonville 36265, Habitat for Humanity of Calhoun County, 2300 McCoy Ave., Anniston 36201 or a favorite charity.

Carol was an advocate for donating one’s body to help others. That can be done by registering at the Alabama Organ Center, 1-800-252-3677.

About Margaret Anderson

Margaret Anderson is the Community Life editor for The Jacksonville News.

Contact Margaret Anderson

Phone: 256-435-5021

See story at The Jacksonville News's website: .

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