Frances Hayes Smith

Published 9:46 am Tuesday, June 2, 2020

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Mrs. Frances Hayes Smith, 95, of Cullen, VA departed to the arms of Jesus on May 17, 2020. She spent her final days at Sentara Woodview Nursing Home, South Boston, VA. She was born April 13, 1925. Frances was a loving mother, daughter, sister, and nurse.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Rommie Evans and Nannie Belle Hayes; brother, Graham Hayes; son, James Bradford Smith; sister, Catherine Hayes Talbott; and former husband, James R. Smith.

She was born a month after her father was shot and blinded in a hunting accident. Little did she know she would be his eyes after she started walking. This experience led her to become a nurse in 1942. She attended one of the first classes at Danville Memorial Hospital. This was when she had to take a train to Washington D.C. for some of her classes weekly.

Upon Graduation in 1946, she worked at the old South Boston Hospital. This is where she met her husband of 18 years. She then took a job for Dr. William Brown in a house office behind South Boston Post Office. She took a break from work when her husband was relocated to Charlotte County, as a service man for VEPCO, where they raised their three children, James Bradford Smith, Ronald Evans Smith and Janie Teresa Smith. After 10 years she worked part time at Farmville Hospital, which later turned into full time. At the same time, she worked in the office of Dr. J. Wayland Dunn. Frances also worked for Eldercare Nursing Home of Farmville, VA and retired in 1990 after 45 years at Halifax Regional Hospital, South Boston, VA. She was the neighborhood nurse. Everyone would ask for her advice and help.

Through the years she worked for Charlotte County American Red Cross, Charlotte County Health Department, and sitting for friends and family. She loved spending time with her family. She was a grandmother to Kim Thompson Havens, Sarah Lenhart Brewer (Bryant), Noah Knakal Smith, Christopher Knakal, Jaclyn Smith Watson (Joe), Jamie Guill Garner (John), Sian Padric Smith, and numerous great-grandchildren.

Frances was active in her church as Secretary-Treasurer, teacher, VBS Coordinator, and sung in the choir. As the family said, “She never let grass grow under her feet.” Frances also loved working in her vegetable and flower garden. She loved to sew, make quilts, and knit. She was a role model for several young ladies who decided to go into nursing.

Loving friends from the school days were Virginia Graham and Dot Ailsworth. In life there was Mrs. Blair Parsons, Rosa Wilson, and dear Madeline Hall.

In lieu of flowers, the request of her family is to make donations to Charlotte County Cancer Society, the Barksdale Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association, or local Rescue Squad. There was a service for Frances at Hitesburg Baptist Church on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 2pm, with visitation one hour before the service. Her burial took place in Hitesburg Baptist Cemetery.

Online condolences can be made at The family was cared for by Watkins Cooper Lyon Funeral Home.