Elda Lee Harding Smith passed away on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, at the age of 88. She was born in Southwest City, Missouri, on Aug. 22, 1930, but she spent her youth in the farming communities of eastern Oklahoma.
She graduated from high school in Jay, in 1946. In 1948, she married Warren Smith, who had just completed his service overseas, and a year later their son Rodney was born.
Truly a member of the greatest generation, Elda spent her life as a devoted wife, loving mother and worked hand in hand with her husband to overcome the rigors of farm life, first in Oklahoma, and later in Palm Beach, Florida, where the family entered the vegetable business in 1953.
In the late 1950s, Elda was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic, something she dealt with by maintaining a discipline that never ceased to amaze those around her.
In 1973 Elda and Warren bought a cattle ranch in Alachua, Florida, and North Florida remained her home until her passing.
While her many years as the bookkeeper for the family business made her disciplined and meticulous, to her family she was always simply, “grandma.”
She always greeted children, grandchildren, stepchildren, cousins, and their friends with love and understanding, and she always welcomed the opportunity to be surrounded by family whether it was at a family dinner or fishing for catfish.
She was a devoted member of Forest Grove Baptist Church and was always secretly proud when her legendary Red Velvet Cake fetched the highest bids at the church bake sales.
Fiercely independent all her life, she remained at the farmhouse in Alachua until the last three years of her life.
She is survived and dearly missed by her son and daughter-in-law, Rod and DeeDee Smith; her brother, Leroy Harding and his wife Beverly; her grandchildren, Alison Glover and her husband Graham, Jesse Smith and his wife Jan, and Dylan Smith; her two nieces, Dawn Brewer and Julie Bloss, and her 4 great-grandchildren, Hannah Grace Glover, Gray Glover, Norah Smith, and Charlotte Smith.
Services took place on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at Forest Grove Baptist Church in Alachua, Florida, with burial following at the church cemetery where she was laid to rest beside her husband, who preceded her in death.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 15829, Arlington, VA 22215. Services under the direction of Williams-Thomas Funeral Home Westarea, Newberry, Florida.
Family and friends may visit her memorial page at www.williamsthomasfuneralhome.com.