Jessie Irene Butler Smith, 87, of Lenexa, Kansas on July 4th at 3:05 am, celebrated Independence Day by releasing herself from the constraints of this earthly world to live freely in eternity with Jesus Christ.
Jessie was born in 1928 at Marston, Missouri. She leaves behind a legacy of service, devotion and fierce love.
In 1945, Jessie met the love of her life, Samuel "Sam" T. Smith. For 63 years they worked side by side building and nurturing their family and serving the Lord.
Jessie's life has been devoted to loving and serving God, her family, her friends and her community. She always sought to learn and better herself for her family and others. Jessie was the first in her family of eight brothers and sisters to earn a college degree and would have nothing less than her own children earn college degrees. Her calling/avocation and what she loved most after God and her family was to teach. Her passion for teaching others always shown through. It was evident whether she was teaching her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews and nieces how to cook, how to play games, how to have a proper tea party or their math homework. That love of teaching was evident in the hours of Bible study and preparation for the many, many Sunday School classes she taught over 50 years. Her most impressive legacy is the hundreds of lives changed for the better because they had the great fortune to have Jessie as an elementary school teacher. She is remembered by most everyone as a beloved and favorite teacher.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Sam Smith, her parents, Fred and Pearl Butler, her daughter, Susan Smith and her great grandchild, Harrison Dean. She will be missed by her son, Greg Smith of Orange Park, FL; her daughter, Alicia Dean of Lenexa, KS and their spouses; her grandchildren, Brandon Dean of Lenexa, KS, Jessica McDill of Columbus, MS and Jennifer McKechnie of Prairie Village, KS and their spouses; her great grandchildren, Mason, Ethan and Asher Dean of Lenexa, KS and Archer McKechnie of Prairie Village, KS.
Visitation will be from 6-8 pm, Friday, July 10 at Overland Park Chapel, 8201 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, KS. Graveside services will be 10 a.m., Saturday, July 11 at Shawnee Mission Memory Gardens, 75th and K-7 Hwy, Shawnee, KS. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Gideons International, PO Box 140800, Nashville, TN, 37214-0800. Please offer condolences at www.overlandparkchapel.com.
The family is at peace knowing Jessie is now healthy and whole, rejoicing and praising her Lord and Savior.