Janis Darlene Smith

Published 4:32 pm Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Janis Darlene Smith, 59, beloved daughter of Oliver George Smith of Providence, Alabama, and Darlene McPherson Smith (now with our Lord), passed in peace from earthly life to Heavenly repose on Feb. 13.

Jan, a Marengo County native, graduated from Demopolis High School in 1972. She played clarinet and was a majorette in the band. Jan attended Troy State University, playing in the band under the direction of Dr. Johnny Long. Her college roommate, Debbie Bradley, became a friend for life and lifted Jan’s spirits with loving support in her last days.



Always a music lover, Jan also learned to play guitar, piano, and a little bass, flute, bassoon, and oboe. She enjoyed art in many forms and visited exhibits wherever she traveled. Jan left a legacy of her own art, letters, crochet, and photographs. Photography was her passion and the family has literally thousands of photos that document her life, travels, and those she loved.

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Jan also studied at Art Institute of Atlanta and Georgia State. Her work in Information Systems took her to California, Minnesota, New England, Wisconsin, New York, India, and The Netherlands. Ever a traveler, Jan enjoyed several international trips, especially one to Italy, which included an enchanting walking tour of Cinque Terra (Five Villages). Paris was also favorite city. Jan most enjoyed an extended vacation to Australia.

Her sense of adventure was not limited to the international. She equally enjoyed local fishing expeditions and good country vegetables. She was ecstatic to return home to Alabama spending the last three years in Linden just a mile from the Smith farm. Jan loved being near family, chatting by phone on a regular basis with several, especially her father and stepmother, George and Mary Smith, aunts Virginia Skinner, Betty Hurst, Genie McPherson Durden, Phyllis Grimes McPherson, Jackie McPherson Barnwell (now with our Lord), cousins Robert Barnwell, Joyce Dismukes Baxter, and Dana Philen Jones (now with our Lord). Special long-time friends that enjoyed Jan’s positive personality include Debbie Bradley, Pam Harris, Debra Oliver Julian, Jennifer White, and Kent Schlumbrecht.

Many were kindly helpful to Jan after she returned to Linden. First and foremost were her father, George Smith, and sister, Pam L. Smith. Also key were aunts Genie McPherson Durden and Betty Hurst, cousins Jim Skinner and Bill Skinner, and companion Sharon Mendenhall. Cousin Elouise Duncan gave Jan great encouragement during her hospitalization in Birmingham.

Jan was the grand-daughter of Mr. and Mrs. O.B. (Tom and Gladys) Smith and Rev. and Mrs. M.N. (Norman and Grace) McPherson, who have all gone on to be with our Lord. She is survived by her father and stepmother, Mr. and Mrs. O.G. Smith, siblings Mrs. Sandra Smith Reaves, Ms. Pam L. Smith, Mrs. Karen Turner Fleming, Mr. Charles David Turner, Mrs. Angelia Turner Osburn, and Mr. Christopher Paul Smith, as well as much loved sisters- and brothers-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Services will be held Saturday, March 8th, 1 p.m. at Providence Baptist Church, 36560 Al Highway 69, Gallion, Alabama 36742. Burial will be at the Smith family plot in the Demopolis cemetery next to sister Shelia Turner Hinson and brother Benjamin Smith.