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Norma Smith of Conway passed away on Friday, November 10, 2023.
Norma Bernice Smith, affectionately known as Momma, entered this world on March 17, 1947, in Georgetown, South Carolina, to her loving parents Isaac Smith and Clementine Grayson. A woman guided by her Christian faith and loyalty to Jesus, she made her transition to Heaven on November 10, 2023, surrounded by the love of her family and friends, leaving behind a legacy of
warmth, kindness, and an everlasting impact on all who were fortunate enough to know her.
Growing up, Norma was nicknamed Leomma. However, forever after becoming a mother, everyone- friends or family- called her "Momma". It wasn't just a title; it was a testament to the nurturing spirit and unwavering support for those she loved that defined her existence. She was not only a mother to her children, Tané (Edward) Trimble, Valreese (Rodney) Grant, Travis, Tia, Asia, and Julianna Smith, but also a motherly figure to her bonus daughters, Jacqueline and Tara Wright, Paulette Conley, Paulette Trimble, and Katie Beauregard. She wholeheartedly embraced her role as a matriarch, building a family whose love and commitment to one another are unmatched. Momma may have been an only child by birth, but she found siblings in the households of Uncle George and Mable Grayson, and Esau and Lillie Britton, with whom she lived throughout her childhood. She adored her namesake, Aunt Bernice McCray, who guided Norma through her life with unfailing
love. Her first cousins, Priscilla (Jim), to whom Momma will always be a devoted angel, Kevin, Onetha, and Paul Britton; Shirby, Pam, George, Joyce, Barbara, and Stacey Grayson became her siblings. Norma relished in the countless blessings that characterized her relationships with her many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. They were all lifelong companions on the journey of family and love.
Norma's abundant and perpetual love extended to the next generation, as she was a devoted grandmother to Brandon (Carrie) Smith, Shea (Meryah) Smith, Koran and Brandon Trimble, Kenneth Scott, Charleese, Jaren, and Laila Smith, Ronald Singleton, Rodney and Tajha Grant, Rayford Boykin, Tabyus Conley, Zariah Gilliam, Courtney Taft, Danielle Farrow, and Latrice Turnage. Her nine great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, church congregation, and close friends were also cherished beyond measure. Her family was her source of pride and joy.
When reminiscing about Momma, thoughts of steady peace and the aroma of delicious food fill our hearts. She cooked nearly every single day, and her culinary gift brought family and friends together for events both big and small. In each dish- everything from chicken and rice to pound cake- she said “I love you.” When Momma wasn’t cooking, she would sit, sometimes for hours, playing competitive, laughter-filled games of Bidwiz and Spades.
Momma thought of her loved ones even in quiet free time, like when she crocheted matching socks for the entire family.
After attending Whittemore Elementary School in Conway, South Carolina, Norma moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where she graduated from James Hillhouse High School and Wilfred
Academy of Hair and Beauty Culture. In New Haven, she found pleasure in working at F.D. Grave and Son and then Echlin’s Automotive Control. She later became a Certified Nursing Assistant
and used her knack for caregiving to help patients at Winthrop Health Care and Arden House. Upon retirement, she returned to Conway, where she served on the Usher Board at St. John’s Church of God.
Norma Bernice Smith's presence was a beacon of love, and her memory will forever remain in our hearts. As we mourn her passing, let us also celebrate the beautiful life she lived, the countless lives she touched, and the enduring love that will live on in the hearts of those who were blessed to call her Momma. May she find eternal peace in the arms of the divine.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 am, Saturday, November 18, 2023, at St. John Church of God. Interment will follow in Rose Hill Memorial Gardens. There will be a viewing from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Friday, November 17, 2023, at Ocean View Funeral Home and Beach Crematory, Conway Chapel.