ZoDell Smith departed her temporary earthly home Monday, Oct. 17, 2016 for her eternal home to dwell in the Eternal Presence of God, whom she devotedly loved and faithfully served in this life.
She was born Feb. 21, 1931 in Wellington, Texas, to George Thomas (GT) Austin and Zora Lee Moore Austin, both of whom preceded her.
ZoDell was the sole survivor of 11 older siblings and graduated from Wellington High School in 1948. She continued her education at Waveland Baptist University, Plainview, Texas, and North Texas State University, Denton, Texas.
In her senior year at NTSU, she met her future husband, Donald R. Smith, an instructor stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls, Texas. They married Feb. 2, 1952. He always said that he was the third love in her life — first was God and second was music, but he quickly added that he was pleased to be third just to be married to her.
They have three children, Faith (Bob) White of Columbia, S.C., Hope (Rick) Matthews of Weisbaden, Germany, and Mark Austin (Shelley) Smith of Galveston, Texas. They also have seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
ZoDell had a full and rewarding life as a pastor’s wife and a career Air Force chaplain’s wife. She lived and traveled the world over, but she never forgot her Texas roots.
She taught music everywhere she lived and conducted award-winning choirs on Air Force bases and chapels. She was dearly loved by her students and years after her retirement, still heard from many of them on her birthday and at Christmas.
The family will host a come and go visitation from 1-9 p.m. with a 7 p.m. celebration of life service on Thursday, Oct. 20 at Ric Brown Family Funeral Home in Mission, Texas. Burial and graveside service will follow at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at North Fairview Cemetery, Wellington, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Alzheimer’s Foundation of America by donating on their website, http://www.alzfdh.org/or by mail to The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Ave., 7th fl., New York, NY 10001.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Ric Brown Family Funeral Home of Mission.