Geneva Daris Smith by Judy Smith Colvin
Geneva Daris Adams Smith, born March 4, 1922, was the youngest child of Joseph Hugh Adams and Ruthie Asbury Watkins Adams. Her father and mother had moved to East Texas from Tennessee and North Carolina in the late 1800's in search of new beginnings. They met and married and began their life together as a farming couple. The marriage was blessed with nine children, Daris being the youngest.
Mother's early life was spent in the typical manner of farm children of the day: all day church on Sunday with dinner on the grounds. Farming and household chores during the rest of the week, an occasional Friday or Saturday trip to Winnsboro to shop or trade. My siblings and I still remember the summer days of shelling all varieties of peas on the front porch of the old farm house. A great deal of time was spent canning all kinds of vegetables for the winter's bounty. We also spent time processing chickens and pork, which were great larks for us because we were carefree about where the three meals we enjoyed every day came from.
Sometime, as Mother was growing up, she learned to sew. Later, when she married our Dad she made my sister and me all kinds of beautiful dresses and even a costume or two. The first one I really remember being aware of was a Valentine dress for me. She made it out of red and white, mostly red crepe paper. She was adept at making garments with no pattern or by easily altering a pattern.
Mother also loved the beauty she saw in God's beautiful earth. She loved flowers and cultivated them both in her home and in her yard. She was always happy to receive a plant that needed help, and she took joy in bringing it back to life. Mother also loved my dad. When Dad became diabetic, she took his diet very seriously. There was no cheating with Mother on duty. Dad and she both gave up smoking, and they ate healthfully. They also went bicycle riding and walking on a daily basis. I am quite sure Mother added to Dad's life, if not in length, in healthfulness. Dad being a dog lover and Mother leaning toward the cats, they also almost always had a stray dog or cat they had taken in.
After Mother and Dad got married on September 3, 1947, they soon moved into a new two bedroom, red-brick house at 203 North Mill Street that Dad, Dad's brother, and Dad's father built for them in my grandparents' backyard. Later Mother and Dad built a rustic lake house at Lake Holly, where we spent much family time. After Lake Winnsboro was created, Dad built them a sanctuary there, which they enjoyed very much as did their children and grandchildren.
After Dad died, Mother continued to live in her home until her late 80's. At the time, Dad had a big dog we called Curly. He was of dubious parentage, but he was as big as a collie and heavier built. Mother was already looking frail. Curly grieved over and looked for Dad for a long time. He also took on the task of watching out for Mother. They would walk in Lee Cemetery for exercise. Mother always put him on a leash, but he could clearly have run away from her; but he was the perfect gentleman, getting into and out of the car as she asked him to do. He never once ran off or jumped up on her; and although he had an igloo house, he slept under Mother's bedroom window every night regardless of the weather. During the day, he lay outside the window where she sat to watch tv. He was her faithful, gentle company to the end.
Then Mother decided to move to an apartment in Autumn Winds. It was a new place, and she felt she needed to give up driving. Her room number was 203, which had been her house address for over fifty years, and she saw that as a sign from God she was in the right place and made it her home. She decorated it with plants and beautiful colored pictures of birds, dogs, and cats: things she enjoyed very much. She walked and exercised and made Autumn Winds home. Her son Marvin gave her beautiful picture of the stained-glass window which our family had once given to the old gothic United Methodist Church of Winnsboro. Dad had placed it in their home, and they had enjoyed the old colored glass for years.
In her later years, her loss of hearing made her world much smaller, but I never heard a complaint from her lips. She could hear very little, but she would smile at whoever spoke to her and say, "Thank you!" or "I love you." Mother was a very private person, but one gift she always wanted to give her children was "the freedom to live their lives as they chose." As a result, all of her children lived hours away from her much of their adult lives. Neither she nor Dad resented our choices. They were glad to see us when we came to see them, and they wished us well when we left.
Skeen and Daris Smith were always proud members of the Winnsboro Community. They remained interested in the history and progresses made in their beloved community. They voted for school and community improvements. Their daughters were school teachers, and Mom and Dad supported education. Their son was an attorney, which made Dad proud. World War II had taken away his opportunity to complete that goal for himself. They supported their church. They were frugal, but not stingy. All and all my parents were good citizens and contributing members of their society, not a bad inheritance for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Daris was the last surviving sibling of her six brothers: Milton, Clyde, Johnie, Joe Rae, Morris, and Thomas Lee and her two sisters Myrtis and Dixie Pauline. She has many living nieces and nephews. Two of her nieces Minnie Ruth (Adams) Wilcox and Sue (Adams) Johnson live in the
Daris is survived by her son Marvin Skeen Smith and wife Karen of Wimberley, Texas, and grandchildren Amie Noel Smith of Austin, Jennifer and husband Craig Kennon, and great-granddaughters Kalyn and Christina Bolton of Lake Jackson; and Nathan Skeen Smith of Seattle, WA.
She is also survived by her daughter Marva Sue and husband Homer Kirby and grandchildren
Dr. David Kirby and wife Jeanelle and great-grandchildren Jake, Kara, and Jack of the Woodlands, Kari and husband Jackey Wiggins and great-grandchildren Joshua and Johnathan of Copper Canyon,
Finally, she is survived by her daughter Judith Arleta Colvin of Burden, KS, grandson Kermit Scott Colvin and wife Cheri of Dexter, KS, and granddaughters Arleta Kay Colvin, Augusta, KS and Jaevin Marie Colvin of Topeka, KS.
She was preceded in death by her husband Marvin Skeen Smith, Sr., her parents, her brothers and sisters, and one grandchild Wesley Colvin.