To help financially during this time of great need, please forward your offering to Tom's sister:
Darla Wexttsen, 16738 N. Tolle Lane, Mount Vernon, IL 62864
checks may be made payable to "Grace Community Church"

There is also a deposit account set up at US Bank to help defray Deb's uncovered medical expenses.
Visit any US Bank branch office to make a deposit in cash or by check for "Deborah A. Smith Memorial Fund".
Please be sure to mention Charity Paddock or Nellie Haverkos to be sure the gift is properly deposited.

If you use this link to join iGive.com, then go shopping there, as much as 26% of your purchases will help the family.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Home! What Joy and Sorrow!


Dear Ones,

Our sister, Deborah Ann Smith, is home with Jesus, from early this morning, October, 12, 2007. Tom and Jordan were with Deb at the time. Here is a message from Charity:

Dear friends,

It is with immeasurable sadness that we write. Our mom passed away early this morning. She passed in her sleep. Please keep us in your prayers as we plan for the future.

All our thanks, the Smith family."

Please bring Tom and the whole Smith family before the Throne of Grace.

Please watch Loving Deb Smith for details on memorials, etc., as they become available.

Hebrews 12:22-24a

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly,
to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous ones made perfect, to Jesus ...

14 comments:

Rick Brown said...

Dearest Tom, Charity, Nellie and Jordan,

I’m so terribly saddened by the distressing news today. You have all meant so much to me and my family for many years. I can’t begin to recite all the beautiful memories.

Nellie, it was so good to hear your voice last week. Thank you for conveying my message of love to your mother.

My love and prayers are with you now and forever.

Rick Brown

Suzie said...

Dear Tom, Charity, Nellie and Jordan-
I am so sad for you that tears are running down my face as I type. How painful is the departure of a beloved one! How devastating to be left behind to try to go on!
And yet I smile through my tears as I envision Deb, whole and happy and laughing that wonderful laugh, as she twirls and dances her way through the wonder that is Heaven, straight to Jesus' side.
I pray that Jesus Himself will comfort you through the days and years to come. I pray that you will find rest in Him, and that He will dry your tears. Know that you have a great host of people loving you, sharing your grief, and praying for you to have peace.
In Christ's love, Suzie Cain

Anonymous said...

Dear Tom, Charity, Nellie and Jordan - Deb was a remarkable woman and my life was enriched for having known her. I loved her, and I love you. I feel terribly sad thinking about her absence. She brought so much joy to everyone with whom she came in contact. I feel happy thinking about her finally being pain free and happy and alive with Jesus. I'm praying for you. Cheri Eresman

michael goldberg said...

we all share the sorrow....
but look what deb did in these past few months- she reunited friends who have not been in touch for decades... she reminded us of past joys, victories, failures and all the other things that have made us who we have become. she reminded us of the limited nature of our physical existence and the unlimited nature of our spirits... she reminded us to take joy in every moment we have afforded us and the special people who surround us... she gave some of us songs and insight and prayers and wisdom and self discovery...
thank you deb.
thank you smith family.
thank you, dear friends who have maintained this site.
thank you Lord.

michael goldberg

Anonymous said...

Dear Smith Family,
I know that there are no words to ease the feeling of loss at this time. I can picture Deb dancing and singing, "Dancing with my Father God in fields of grace". I will also never forget her sweet warm voice opening church on Sunday mornings. What a role model of grace. There is some comfort in knowing that this is not for forever but that we will see her again in her (and ours) new body. Please know that you are in our prayers.

Love
In Christ,
Jodi Sowders

Tim, Marcia Fuller and fam said...

Dear Tom and family,
We know Deb is finally home with our Lord but we still share your sadness as we know you will miss her in this life. We pray our that our Father will bring you abundant joy in the times to come.

Tim and Marcia Fuller and family said...

Dear Smith Family (Tom, Charity, Nellie, Jordan, spouses and children),

We share your pain as Deb has gone home to be with the Lord. She was a great encourager to me when I moved into the House of the Carpenter as a 17 year old and away from home for the first time. She was a great step-mom and big sister to me and I will never forget our warm times together. Thank you Tom for being an awesome spiritual mentor to me even when my flesh wanted to rebel at times. Thanks for the blessing of marrying us. You did something right there because it took and continues 29 years later. We are thinking and praying for you all. May God bless you Tom and the kids and grandkids as you continue in this life, and may our loving Father fill you with joy and a peace that passes all understanding.

Yours in Christ,

Tim and Marcia Fuller and family

Randy said...

Dear Tom, Charity, Nellie, Jordan, and family members -

My heart aches with sorrow, along with yours, as the reality sinks in that we are separated from Deb for now. This is, I know, incredibly hard for you to bear. It is for me. Yet how reassuring it is to know that the separation is not permanent, and that we WILL be reunited with her at last. We will again see her smile and hear her laugh with a joy that cannot be contained.

And I can't help but think of Deb free from pain and suffering in that place of which this is only a shadow. Dancing joyfully before the throne, lost in adoration and and enveloped in love. Experiencing joy in His presence and eternal pleasures at His right hand. (Psalm 16:11).

May God hold you all especially near in this painful time. May He envelop you in his love, encouragement, consolation, and solace, and refresh your weary spirits by His presence. May He continually comfort you and surround you with His peace. Please know that you are loved and constantly in our prayers during this incredibly difficult time.

Deb has been a marvelous model to us of a life lived well in Jesus, and has touched hundreds of lives. May we remember and continue to be inspired by her example and her faith.

Blessings and peace,

Randy and Rosie Moody and family

Yvonne Knoll said...

My heart goes out to you and your whole family. I knew Tom and Deb at UC when Charity was a toddler. She was a joy and will be to the LORD as she enjoys HIS presence. Yvonne Knoll

Linda Short said...

My name is Linda Short. I was director of the art center at Cedarhurst for many years and had contact with Deb many times for art events, classes and such.

I was completely blown away this morning when I opened the newspaper and read about Deb. I still cannot believe it.
Strangely, she had come to my thoughts several times recently. I missed seeing her since my retirement from the art center and often wondered how she was doing.

I am so sorry I did not learn of her condition until now. I never got to have those "last words" with her. We all always assume people will go on a long time and there will be another earthly meeting between old friends at some point in time. That will not be, for Deb and me. I am so sad.

Deb was absolutely one of my favorite people who came into the art center. Deb was always just larger than life to me. She loved art and we enjoyed talking about it.

My heart goes out to all of you. What an awful, terrible past few months for you and for dear Deb. I will always remember her and treasure the pottery bowl she gave me even more.

She is at peace now and probably painting pictures and throwing pots all around heaven. May God bless you all and hold you close.

Linda

Stephanie Fantini said...

Smith Family,
I just want to leave you a message from family in Montana. Mom was very sad to hear of Debbie's passing. She was very close to Debbie when Debbie was younger and it was a big shock as she didn't even know that Debbie was sick. The family is thinking about you and praying for everyone. We might be away from the family but our thoughts are very close.

The Bicknell's in Montana
Gene, Betty, Julie, Matt, Aimee, Stephanie and all our spouses.

Linny O'Hara said...

I Remember Deb ~ Linny O'Hara

I will always remember Debbie's smile. Her laugh was soft, her eyes sparkled with life and good will. A dear daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, writer, crafter, and true Christian saint, Deb died the way she lived: with love, forgiveness, courage, and heroic faith, singing the praises of her GOD and Savior, JESUS Christ! She was a true friend, steady rock, and down-to-earth role model. Though the earth is silent with the loss of a great voice for Christ, I still, though tears, must rejoice in Deb's final and forever victory over pain and death.

Marc O'Hara said...

You can read this remembrance of Deb on Marc O' Hara's blog at

Remembering Deb Smith by Marc O'Hara


I first met Deb when she went to the Cincinnati Bible Seminary. I was driving my old Plymouth Fury station wagon that had 4 snow tires. I picked up some friends at the Seminary and Deb was with them. After dropping her off I was told that she was Tom Smith's wife. I had met Tom a couple of times. He was a campus minister at UC.

I did not meet her again until some folks got the idea to start a church on the UC campus. We were a bunch of raggedy looking students, young married folks and workers in our early 20's with the common goal of loving The Lord. These were the days of the Jesus Movement.

We became more organized. The membership grew and eventually moved to another building at UC. Tom signed on as full time minister and drew a salary. The smaller prayer group that Linny and I participated in was led by Tom and Deb. They were kind enough to open their home to us for meetings and dinners.

Deb was generous to a fault and always a gracious host. We were young and a lot of the ladies looked to her as a role model. I recall that Charity was about 3 or 4 years old during these days. She was one of the few toddlers in the church and a very precocious little girl. However there was about to be a baby boom.

Some church members were young and married. One memory I have of Deb is the time we went to a "Marriage Encounter" weekend. I recall arriving at Deb and Tom's home, meeting my wife and then we all drove to a hotel in Springfield Ohio where the event was held.

These were also the days when the TV Show Saturday Night Live was new and funny. A bunch of us would arrive at the Smith home in Western Cincinnati to watch the show and have some fun.

I recall Tom had given Deb some puka beads as an anniversary present. Although I know 25 years is the Silver Anniversary, I am not sure which anniversary is puka.

Another memory is of Deb telling me about the vacation she and Tom took to Gatlinburg. Deb had her eye on a quilt that she spotted in a shop. She bartered with the shop owner and offered to trade a painting for the quilt. Deb made the 4 hour trip home to Cincinnati, grabbed the painting and drove 4 hours back to Gatlinburg and another 4 hours back to Cincy with her quilt. Mercy, we had stamina in those days.

We had gone on to become an official church. Fellowship Christian was born and to honor it many of the young wives, including Deb decided to give birth. I think Linda Cristiani was one of the first to deliver. I recall picking my Linny, who was also preggers, up from a baby shower. It might have been for Deb, who was pregnant with Nellie. The ladies were cooing over Linda's new arrival and dressing her up.

The babies finally arrived, my wife gave birth and my shoulders smelled of sour milk for the next couple of years. I remember visiting Deb when Nellie was born. My Rachael came along not too long after Nellie arrived.

Those were wonderful days and I bless them. I bless the fact that I knew Deb and briefly she was a part of my life. I was fortunate to know her in this world. And I know that I will meet her again in a place were there is no illness, disease or suffering. When I learned that Deb had bone cancer, I cringed because I am aware bone cancer is one of the most painful conditions that a person can endure.

I have reached a point in my life that some of those I love have been called home. I miss them so much. When they come to mind I treasure the memories of the time I had with those friends and family.

Sara said...

There isn't a single word I can say to comfort all of you in this time...

Only Deb thru her love and passion of all things has impacted my life beyond compare. She is one of the reasons i am who i am today. My name is Sara MacDavid.

I meet Deb while she was teaching at Frontier Community College. Just out of high school with a young mind and eager heart. Deb showed me the path of happiness with art. No one ever understood me before. She taught me and guided me. Without her influence in my life at that time and still her memory today i would not be the person i am. When others cast me aside she lifted me up and gave me strengh, a voice. She didn't have to do that. But thats not Deb. She could stand in the middle of a crowd and her spirit - light cast out upon us all.

She helped make me who i am today, I hope she recieved some of the cards i sent. But i know she knows how much she ment to me.

But I just wanted you to know that in my heart, in my art Deb will live forever.

I love you Deb, my mentor, my teacher, my friend. I miss you Deb. But in missing you i smile- nowing that you are in the arms of our lord.

Your friend, Your art student,
Sara MacDavid, Fairfield, IL.