Nona Payne Smith, 90, of Pilot Mountain passed away on March 31, at Village Care Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in King, NC. Nona was born in Surry County to Robert Glenn and Stella Hill Payne on May 26, 1929. She grew up in Westfield. She graduated as the valedictorian of Westfield School. Nona was a member of Brown Mountain Baptist Church.
Nona married a Stokes County native, Robert E. Smith. They had been married for 40 years when he passed away in 1989.
Nona, known as ‘Mama’ or “Granny” to her children and grandchildren was a true stay- at- home mom. Her life revolved around her children. Trying financial times didn’t deter her from making sure that her children were afforded every available opportunity, including piano and dance lessons. Unfortunately, the dance lessons didn’t last long, because her older son opted for “Sky King” on Saturdays.
The family moved from Pinnacle to Pilot Mountain. in 1961 and welcomed their third child in November. Nona had her hands full with three children, and yet she never missed a beat. Ballgames, musical, and academic activities filled the calendar, and she was always in attendance at those events. Nona was extremely proud of her children and their accomplishments. This tradition continued to the next generation. Nona attended her oldest grandson’s first t-ball game in1976, and her youngest granddaughter’s college graduation in 2015. For 39 years she traveled near and far to support her grandchildren. Her travels included 4 NC High School State Softball Championships. In 2007, she was faced with a major decision. Nona had always said that she would never fly unless one of her children needed her. Her choice was fly to Seattle, Washington or miss a softball game. She flew! Thanks to her daughter-in-law, Angie, she was spared removal from the plane because she protested her assigned seat.
Mama was a memorabilia maven. She chronicled our lives through pictures, newspaper articles, report cards, etc. She even saved locks of our hair. Mama denoted our chronological age down to the day.
We will sorely miss our mama, and life will not be the same without her.
Nona was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; grandson, Kevin Jones; brother, Bob Payne; sisters, Jean Payne Mathis, and Nita Payne Smith, her beloved identical twin.
She is survived by her sons, Kent Smith and Mark Smith (Angie) ; her daughter, Phyllis Smith Atkins; grandchildren, Jennifer Seamans(Brian), Andy Smith(Laura), Ryan Atkins(Brittany), Samantha and Christian Smith; great-grandchildren, Madaline Jones Colvin(Josh), Peyton and Reece Jones, Elizabeth, Benjamin, and Rebecca Kramling, Kennedy and Hudson Atkins, Craeton and Sloane Hooker; step great-grandchild, Derrick Seamans Nona is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
A private ceremony will be held at Cox Needham Funeral Home in Pilot Mountain. Nona will be laid to rest in Pilot Mountain Cemetery. A celebration of life service will be held at a later time.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be given to Village Care Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in King, NC; East Surry Athletic Department; Mountain Valley Hospice, Pilot Mountain.
The family wishes to extend our sincere gratitude to the dedicated nurses and support staff at Village Care Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for loving our mama and taking such good care of her for the last 4 years.
We would also like to express our sincere thanks to Mountain Valley Hospice for their support over the last weeks of Mama’s life.
Cox-Needham is respectfully serving the Smith family.
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