Mildred Lavon Johnson Smith was born in Washington, Arkansas on August 14, 1925 to Tommy Johnson and Georgia Ruth Fellows Johnson. She was the oldest of two girls; Jolly (the youngest).
During her youth Mildred received her education inthe public and boarding schools in Arkansas. After high school she attended college at Arkansas A.M. & N, Baptist College and Jackson State University in Jackson, MS where she earned a Masters of Education. She enjoyed learning and later received a Specialist Degree in Education from Henderson State College in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
She was united in marriage to C. I. Fullard in Detroit Michigan and was blessed with two beautiful children Cynthia and Fred, who preceded her in death. She later united in holy matrimony with her soulmate Ode Smith Jr. One daughter, Barbara, was born to this union.
As a devoted wife and mother, while raising her three children she worked for the Ottenhimer Industries Textile Company, attended and graduated from Velvatex College of Beauty in Little Rock, attended school in the summer and taught in the North Little Rock and Little Rock Public School District.
Upon retiring from the Little Rock School District to her hometown of Washington, Arkansas. She was dedicated to contributing to her community and recognition of the many contributons of other African Americans in the region. She began a second career teaching in the Hope and Washington Arkansas pubic schools and raising her grandson, Dylan.
Mildred set and achieved many goals throughout her lifetime. She was a woman of many firsts. She became the first black female Superintendent of the Washington Arkansas Public Schools. She founded the first Black History Museum in Washington, Arkansas. She was the first black female Democratic delegate for this area. She was one of the founding members of the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives. She was a Notary, Licensed Cosmetologist, Grant writer and Income Tax preparer.
She was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church both in Little Rock and in Washington. She loved her church family and worked in numerous leadership roles over the years. She had a love for serving others and God.
She was initiated in the Kappa Xi Omega Chapter, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and was active in many other organizations.
She leaves to cherish her memory her loving husband, Ode affectionately called “Babe Ruth.” Her daughter, Barbara Smith (Atlanta, GA), two grandsons, Dylan Winston and Kiambu Smith (Atlanda, GA) one granddaughter, Dundra Fullard (Little Rock, AR) and a host of great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. Some very special people in her life were Cassandra and Fred Turney, her God children and Gwen Stewart, her caregiver. God called one of his loving servants home saying “well done thy good and faithful servant, well done.” Rest in peace mother, you will be missed.
Viewing will be 1-5pm Thursday, October 15 at the funeral home. Graveside service will be 11am Friday, October 16, 2020 at Washington Cemetery, Washington, Arkansas. Masks are required. Arrangements entrusted to Hicks Funeral Home, Inc.