HUBBARD, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Mary Louise Jenkins-Smith, age 76, entered into eternal heavenly rest on Thursday, January 13, 2022 after 3+ years of declining health, a brief illness and subsequent hospitalization at Boardman Mercy Health hospital. 

Mary was born March 1, 1945 in Montgomery, Alabama but was raised in the north where their family eventually settled in Hubbard, Ohio.

During her youth she enjoyed singing, dancing and she loved skating with her older brothers who were avid rollerskaters. Her claim to fame was once getting an opportunity to dance on local TV with her partner, Clinton Brewer, on American bandstand.

Mary and the Jenkins family were members of New Hope Baptist church where she sang in the choir.

Mary got married in the early 60s in an effort to “get away” from home and begin to raise a family of her own. 

Mary was by what today standards would be considered “a foodie”. She LOVED to eat and there was ‘No Shame in her Game’ when it came down to grub’n/dining. Mary loved to cook for her family, friends and even feeding strangers. She taught all of her children how to cook and her domestic skills.

She supported her family by working at various restaurants, Rolling Acres Nursing Home and country clubs, as a cook throughout the Youngstown area.

She had a passion for hosting family get-togethers/ parties in order to cook and promote unity for all. Her motto was “to Live, Love & Give” she would say. She was a selfless, loving mother and friend to many and a natural giver with a heart of gold and a smile that affected all positively. 

One of Mary’s favorite pastimes was watching the old western TV shows. She affectionately called them, “shoot um ups”. They reminded her of her BEST youthful times at home with her dad who also loved the shows that they both watched together. She found joy and fulfillment in singing with the Gospel Chorus at New Hope Baptist with her church family. 

A lowly, humble soul, Mary also thoroughly enjoyed attending thrift stores, local community kitchens, food pantries and clothing giveaways where she met, dined and shared time with friends and strangers alike. The fellowship and camaraderie provided her with a sense of being a part of a loving community of those in need. She would acquire food and clothing and actively distribute some of those items to her family, friends and neighbors in distress.

Mary endured a tumultuous life journey. She compensated her struggles and hardships by expressing love to others and encouraging ALL to put God first and wait on God for all things. She introduced her children to God so that they would have and keep faith. She constantly reminded them that all things will turn out alright with God put first as priority in their lives. 

Mary absolutely loved Christmas time! It was her favorite time of the year. She actively turned into a little girl every holiday season. She would go above and beyond to ensure that her children had the BEST Christmas holiday without fail. She would even neglect some of her pertinent bills in order to make sure that ‘Santa’ would please her children. Along with Christmas, her children’s birthdays were the most memorable, magical times in her home. 

Mary leaves to cherish her fond memories her five sons, Joseph W.(Darlene)Smith, Jr., William Smith, Levensky (Binky) Smith, Charles E.(Tawanda) Smith, and her eternal baby boy whom she ADORED unconditionally, Randell (Jessica Lee Elder) Smith; their dad, Joseph W. Smith, Sr. of Akron, Ohio; four sisters, Jacqueline Jenkins-Greene, Scottie Gail Jenkins-Washington, Deborah Ann Jenkins-Scissum and Carolyn Jenkins; one brother, Davie Jenkins; seven granddaughters, one grandson and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family. She also leaves her close friends and confidants who stayed connected to her, Ms.Mildred Lanier (like a daughter to her), Odailiar & Willie Hawkins, Ms.Leona Naze, Ms Juanita Huckleby and Ms.Rosetta Brown.

Mary was preceded in crossing over to glory by her first child, the light of her life, her beloved daughter, Lucinda “Lynn” Jenkins; her parents, James Jenkins, Sr. and Caroline Cook-Jenkins; four brothers, James Jenkins, Jr., Joe Jenkins, Charles Pete Jenkins and Willie Frank Jenkins; three sisters, Johnnie Mae Jenkins-Lee, Lorene Jenkins-Beck (Mack) and Lucy Lee Jenkins and a host of aunts and uncles. 

A special Thank You goes to Wanda G. Scissum, her niece, who consistently stayed in touch with her Aunt Mary, keeping her connected to the extended family. Also to Cymone’ A. Buggs-McDill, her granddaughter and Jessica Lee Elder-Smith, her daughter-in-law, for the love, light, support and laughter they always shared with her. Mary will be sorely missed by all who knew her, yet her bright smile and spirit lives on in many hearts. 

Visitation will be held Friday, January 28, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon at L.E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home; funeral service will begin at 12:00 Noon.

Interment will be in Tod Homestead Cemetery.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Friday, January 28 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV.