Ada Lou Smith

With a heart full of love, a head full of knowledge, and a closet full of shoes, the remarkable Ada Lou Smith, a centenarian of Copperville, Georgia, left us on June 3, 2023. Ada was a true force of nature, having defied the odds and challenged stereotypes her entire life, and we like to think she was pretty proud of making it to the esteemed centenarian club.

woman in striped jacket with bracelets.

Born on January 6, 1923, to Ethel Wright Holstein and Johnny Holstein, Ada was a Copperville girl through and through. She graduated from Copperville High School and went on to blaze trails at the University of Georgia, where she not only earned her J.D. but also her reputation as a relentless defender of justice.

Ada and her beloved husband, Billy James Smith, ran a private law practice in Copperville. They gained fame when they defended an innocent man accused of being the notorious River Killer. Despite the odds stacked against them and some naysayers, Ada and Billy didn’t just win the case—they made history.

Ada’s sharp intellect and zest for life didn’t wane as she gracefully moved into her golden years. On her 100th birthday, she gleefully declared that she had officially become a “centenarian troublemaker,” ready to shake things up even in her second century. Her age only seemed to add to her charm: her wit grew sharper, her spirit brighter, and her ability to dismiss broccoli more steadfast.

Ada wasn’t just an exceptional lawyer; she was also an exceptional mother to her children, Thomas Lou Smith (Jeannie) and Louise Smith Roberts (Joe), and an adoring grandmother to her seven grandchildren. Not to mention her thirteen great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren, all of whom she could remember the names, birthdays, and favorite ice cream flavors of without skipping a beat.

Being known for her amazing cakes and pies, Ada had a secret weapon for winning over judges and juries: her blue-ribbon-winning apple pie. She would always say it was her dry wit that won her the ‘Georgia Lawyer of the Year’ award, twice, but we suspect the pies may have had something to do with it.

When Ada wasn’t changing lives in the courtroom or in the kitchen, she was volunteering at her church, catching the biggest fish on the lake, or tending to her award-winning roses. She traveled the world with her loving husband, Billy, but always held a special place in her heart for Tuscany, the only place that rivaled her love for Georgia.

Always outspoken and honest, Ada was known for her passion, which was especially evident during her children’s and grandchildren’s sporting events. She was their loudest cheerleader and the referees’ harshest critic, always ready to give them a piece of her mind.

Ada also had a love for shoes that rivaled Carrie Bradshaw’s, and she wasn’t afraid to admit it. She hated only two things in life: mean people and broccoli. And though she faced both from time to time, she tackled them with the same fierceness and grace unless they were on her dinner plate—in that case, broccoli never stood a chance.

Ada’s other love was her loyal beagle, Charley. She would often joke that Charley was the only male in her life who never talked back and who was always happy to eat her broccoli.

As we remember Ada, we recall not just her long list of accomplishments but the strength, kindness, and unwavering integrity she embodied. Her wit could make you laugh, her wisdom could make you think, and her pies, well, they could make you do just about anything. Above all, Ada Lou Smith was a beacon of love and resilience to her family and to the many lives she touched throughout her remarkable 100-year journey.

Goodbye, dear Mimi. Your legacy will live on in our hearts, in our deeds, and in the lessons you taught us. And every time we refuse broccoli, we’ll think of you with a smile. Your spirit, no doubt, continues to light up the world.

Note: This is a fictional obituary example.

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