Phyllis Lou (Shirkey) Smith, 90, of Ripley, West Virginia, passed away Monday, May 29, 2017, at Charleston Memorial Hospital, surrounded by her family.
She was born Dec. 2, 1926, in Clothier, West Virginia, the daughter of the late John Matthew and Stella Sharp Shirkey.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Virgil Smith Jr.; her siblings, William (Sylvia) Shirkey, Edith (Ernest) Flannery, Woodrow (Ruth) Shirkey, John L. Shirkey and Frances (Richard) Price; and a brother-in-law, Frank Miller.
She is survived by her sons, Kip (Mary) Smith of Kenna, Rod (Marsha) Smith of Stoutsville and Chuck (Lesa) Smith of Charleston; eight grandchildren, Kara (Joel) Allread, Dirk (Sherri) Smith, Nate (Emily) Smith, Cole Smith, Sydney Smith, Jacob Smith, Jesse Smith and Jagur Smith; great-grandchildren, Reed and Morgan Hanes, Adelyn, Elleigh and Andrew Smith and Gavin Allread; her siblings, Rosemary Miller of Madison, West Virginia, and George (Louise) Shirkey of Lake Wales, Florida; sister-in-law, Jean Shirkey of Brook Park; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Phyllis attended Davis and Elkins College before graduating Morris Harvey College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in 1957, receiving her secondary teaching certificate in English and Social Studies. Phyllis became a lifelong educator, teaching public school at Sharples High School, Sharples, West Virginia; Lake Elementary, Logan County, West Virginia, and Ripley High School, Ripley, West Virginia, over the course of 32 years.
After retiring from public education, she became the coordinator of Jackson County Literacy Program.
Phyllis was an avid reader and a fan of television drama, professional golf and college football and basketball. She also enjoyed playing the piano, singing church hymns and painting with oils and watercolors.
Phyllis was a charter member of the First Presbyterian Church of Ripley, where she served as an elder and sang in the church choir for many years.
Her love of teaching and learning was only exceeded by her love of family, having worked many hours compiling family genealogy in written and photograph form. She delighted in reminiscing the past and planning the future. Phyllis will be greatly missed by her family and her friends.
Funeral service will be 1 p.m. Saturday, June 3, 2017, at the First Presbyterian Church of Ripley, with Larry Hooper officiating. Burial will be in the Jackson County Memory Gardens, Cottageville, West Virginia. Friends may call from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 2, 2017, at the Waybright Funeral Home, Ripley, and one hour prior to the service at the church.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family by visiting www.waybrightfuneralhome.com.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal