lizzie sanders smith
EDUCATOr and coach
~Reflections of Her Life~
Sister Lizzie Lee Sanders Smith was born on September 11, 1933 in Mer Rouge, Louisiana to the late Pearlie Seay Sanders and Earnest Sanders, Sr. She departed this life on May 30, 2016 at Glenwood Hospital in West Monroe, Louisiana.
Sister Smith accepted Christ as her personal Savior as a young child and was baptized at Eudora Baptist Church under the leadership of Reverend Byrd in Mer Rouge, Louisiana. She later continued her Christian journey at New Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church and served under the leadership of several long-term pastors. She remained a faithful member until her health failed. Sister Smith was a former choir member and later served as a Mother of the church and was often referred to as the “Best Dressed Mother” in the church.
Sister Smith was united in holy matrimony to Sam E. Smith. God blessed the Smith family with one goddaughter, Misty Davenport Griffin (Kevin) of Houston, Texas; one godson, Michael Smith (Denezer) of Dallas, Texas and one son-of-the-heart (nephew), Eric Banks (Miriam) of San Diego, California.
Sister Smith graduated from Morehouse Training School in 1951. She then entered Grambling State University and received a Bachelor of Science degree, and later a Master of
Education from Southern University. Her career began when she worked in Mississippi for several years using her business training in the office. When she moved back to Louisiana, her passion for basketball along with the desire to teach, were combined and she became the first black Business Education teacher in Morehouse Parish. Many students learned to type under her instruction. “Coach Smith” was head of the girls’ basketball team at the Morehouse High School from 1963–1966,g them to championships. Sister Smith also taught Adult Education. In her spare time, she enjoyed fishing, was an excellent seamstress, and loved cooking family feasts for her loved ones.
Through coaching and teaching, she was able to impact so many young lives before she retired with 20 years of service in education. For a short time after retirement, she ventured into a thin, non-traditional job, and worked in construction at Georgia Pacific Paper Mill in Arkansas. She has been a community resource and often assisted those in need. She was truly a helping hand to so many. She was a business woman, an entrepreneur and definitely a pioneer in so many ways.
Sister Smith was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; two brothers, William Sanders and Earnest Sanders, Jr.; four sisters, Ocalee Sanders Banks, Lillie Bell Davenport, Mary Sanders and Gladys Haslem. She leaves to cherish her memories two godchildren; one son-of-the-heart; a special niece, Robin Payton (Essel) of Mer Rouge, Louisiana, Shirley Simonton and Sandra Davenport of Houston, Texas, Debrah Davis (Larry) of Bastrop, Louisiana, Catherine Sanders and Pearl Mae Collins both of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; nephews, Donald Davenport of Bastrop, Louisiana, Earnest Sanders, II of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; a special cousin, Willie West of Muskegon, Michigan; a special friend, Betty Gilbert, a number of other nieces, nephews, family members and friends.