In 1966, Donnie joined the US Air Force, and for 20 years they traveled from base to base while raising their family. The USAF sent them to such varied places as Alaska, Alabama, North Dakota and several others. JoAnne made the sometimes meager, always temporary, military housing feel like an actual home for her husband and children. She made room for airmen at her holiday table when they were far from their families. She was an excellent cook and shared her home cooking with lots of people. Many people said that she made the best meals they’d ever had. After Donnie's retirement, they returned home to Cumberland County.
When her children were grown, JoAnne started in the work force. She held a couple of different jobs in Burkesville before finding her place as a dispatcher for the city. It was a rewarding job that she held for 17 years before retiring in 2013. She took pride in being a part of the team that assisted so many people, and she made many friends.
She loved to go to sales and second-hand stores to collect items reminiscent of her childhood. Things that held very little monetary value would be seen as treasures. She loved to garden and could grow ordinary houseplants into a lush jungle.
JoAnne’s greatest joys in life were not things, but people. She was a loving wife to Donnie until death parted them in 1994. She was a constant friend and advisor to her children, Melissa and Luke. She adored her grandchildren, Kyle and Erin, and would talk about them to everyone she knew. Donnie’s twin sister Connie Arms and her husband, Roger were treasured. Several years after Donnie’s death, JoAnne gained a second family. Lawrence Vincent and his children, granddaughter, sisters and brothers brought much love to her life.
Whenever she knew of someone in need, JoAnne did whatever was within her power to help them and expected no recognition. She has likely done something to help many of us at some time, whether we are aware of it or not. She was truly an Angel on earth and the extent of her compassion for people in need was boundless.
Survivors are Melissa Melby and her husband Kirk and their children Kyle and Erin, of Laurel MT; Lucas Smith of Adair County; Connie (Smith) and Roger Arms of Marrowbone; Lawrence Vincent and family, brothers Harry Furkins of Nashville and Jim Furkins of Bowling Green, beloved aunt Sue Lacy and cousin Roger Lacy of Columbia and cousin Marlene ( Patterson) Grant of Breeding. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. She loved every one of them.
JoAnne was preceded in death by parents Hazel and Luster, husband Donnie Dee Smith, brothers Marshall, Overton Ray “Bugs”, Bob, Kyle and Barry, and favorite uncle Herbert (Sue) Lacy, aunt Jane (Lacy) Patterson and cousins, Cary and H.D. Patterson, along with many, many others.
Funeral Service – Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 2:00 P.M. at Grissom-Martin Funeral Home with Bro. Charles Huddleston officiating
Burial will follow the service in Fudge Cemetery in Breeding.
Visitation after 12 P.M., Wednesday
The family would to extend special thanks to the nursing staff at Clinton County Hospital, Hospice of Lake Cumberland, and to Jennifer, her Home Health nurse. If desired, memorials may be made to Hospice.
Grissom-Martin Funeral Home in charge of arrangements