Dorothy Jean Washington

Sis. Dorothy Jean Washington was born on July 11, 1943, in Hope, Arkansas to the late Lloyd (Sr.) and Minnie Pearl Washington. She was the second oldest of seven children born of this union…Cleonia, Dorothy Jean (Edward), Reonia (deceased), Lloyd Jr. (deceased), Mary Ann, Dennis James (Julie), and Jennifer Denise.

Having a strong love for and service to God, Dorothy accepted Christ at an early age. She became a member of the New Bethel Baptist Church, of Hope, Arkansas, where she served diligently for years.

Being raised to value and desire continuing her education, Dorothy graduated from Henry C. Yerger High School in 1961. She chose to pursue her teaching degree at Philander Smith College in Little Rock where she joined the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Shortly after obtaining her degree, Dorothy taught school in the Clow community, then at Lincoln High School in Washington, Arkansas. Through one of her students, who couldn’t seem to stay out of trouble with Miss Dorothy Washington and who would later become her brother-in-law, she met the love of her life Edward Lee Smith.

The two were joined in marriage on December 24, 1967. Dorothy “Jean” and Edward “Smith” made a vow before God and men to love and care for each other until death. That vow was lovingly fulfilled for 53 + years. The two stood by each other’s side in service to God, family, community, and each other to the very end. From this union was born Felicia Renee (Larry), Reon Michelle, Eddra J’Lynne (Rodney), Edward Lee II (Yolanda), and Christopher Derrell.

Dorothy and Edward worked hard to diligently serve God, raise their family in the fear and admonition of the Lord, and support their community. Dorothy was the first African American to work for the Employment Security Division of Hope. As a claims clerk, she took it upon herself to use her knowledge and position to help others to better themselves and not only obtain but maintain employment.

Later Dorothy would become a very active member and officer of Hope’s Black Community Development and Historical Society. Serving on this committee, she helped to develop and host events to celebrate the black history, community, and leaders of Hope.

Dorothy was a compassionate spirit whose passion was caring for others through philanthropic deeds. Dorothy and Edward opened “The Care House” to provide basic necessities for daily living to anyone who needed them.

Dorothy Jean Washington Smith leaves a host of family and friends to cherish her memory. She leaves her loving husband, five children, six grandchildren, four siblings, a host of nieces, nephews, adopted family members, former students, friends, and the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church members where she served as First Lady.

Graveside Services will be Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 11:00 am

Scott-Giles Memorial Cemetery, Off Patmos Road, Hope, Arkansas 71801. Arrangements entrusted to Hicks Funeral Home, Inc.

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