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WILMINGTON -- Laura Oates Smith, 88, died Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008, at her home in Wilmington.

She was born June 12, 1919, on a farm in Sampson County near Faison, N.C., to the late Edwin and Laura Mitchell Oates. She was one of 11 children and the first in her family to graduate from college, East Carolina Teachers' College. She taught school for several years before marrying Phillip C. Smith Jr., a U.S. Naval officer from Akron, Ohio, in 1951. They lived in Florida, Maine, Ohio, Hawaii and Bermuda before settling in Wilmington in 1969. She was a loving wife, a great mom and very devoted to her family.

She is survived by her husband; three children, Phillip C. Smith III and wife, Charlotte, of New Orleans, La., Laura Melinda Jones and husband, Bruce, of Seattle, Wash., Tim Smith and wife, Freda, of Boone, N.C.: three grandchildren, Jonathan Smith of Atlanta, Ga., Larson Smith of Wilmington, Kelsey Smith of Boone; two step-grandchildren, Stephen Jones and wife, Jane, Marc Jones, all of Seattle; one step-great-grandchild, Barrett Jones of Seattle; brothers and sisters, Margaret Martin of Faison, Robert Oates and wife, Margaret, of Clinton, N.C., Joyce Odom and husband, Tatum, of Mount Olive, N.C., Sam Oates and wife, Jean, of Faison; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

The family received friends at the home from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1, 2008. A memorial service was held at the Oates Family Cemetery near Faison at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008. A memorial service will be held in Boone at a later date. Wilmington Burial and Cremation Service was in charge of arrangements. Inurnment will be held at the U.S. Naval Academy Colum-barium in Annapolis, Md.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice, 2222 S. 17th St., Wilmington, N.C. 28401 or the Davis Health Care Center Legacy Fund, 1011 Porter's Neck Road, Wilmington, N.C. 28411.

Online condolences may be sent to www.wilmingtonburialandcremation.com.

Courtesy of West and Dunn Funeral Home, Newton Grove, N.C.


Published in Obituaries on February 5, 2008 2:13 PM