Opal Marie Smith Brannock
A memorial service for Opal Marie Smith Brannock of Waynesboro, Va., will be conducted at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, January 15, 2011, at First Baptist Church by Rev. David Washburn. She departed this life Monday, January 10, at the age of 87, having been born July 14, 1923 in Neosho County, Kansas, the daughter of Neal R. Smith and Irene (Clower) Smith.
She graduated from William Jewell College of Liberty, Mo., with a degree in Spanish in anticipation of becoming a missionary in South America. However, while on an interim mission trip to southwest Virginia, she caught the attention of Boyd James Brannock whom she later married and built a life together for 46 years.
The couple made their home in Waynesboro in 1949, where Mrs. Brannock became a full time director of youth at First Baptist Church. Later, she taught Weekday Religious Education in the city and county schools. She attended the University of Virginia to obtain her teaching certification. She served as a substitute teacher in the City of Waynesboro school system which to her students must have seemed like decades. While loving the challenge of teaching, she commanded attention and exactness in the classroom.
Her love of mission work never dimmed, finding expression in mission trips to Siberia, China, Hungary, and three trips to Costa Rica, the last of which ushered in her 85th birthday. She concluded her travels in 2009 with a safari to South Africa.
In addition to her parents and her husband, she is predeceased by a brother, Chester C. Smith.
She is survived by her four children, Betty Boyd Hardy, her husband, P. Howard Hardy, her sons Shane Smith Brannock, J. Von Brannock and Boyce Brannock and his wife, Deneen D. Brannock. She was blessed with two granddaughters, Shanna B. Mena and her husband, Danny Mena, and Phoebe Marie Brannock, and a great-grandson, Liam N. Mena. Also surviving are two brothers, Dale E. Smith and his wife Beverly Ann Smith, and Lester L. Smith, and his wife Janet Smith, and the widow of Chester C. Smith, Marjie Smith, along with numerous nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
A private interment will be held prior to the memorial service.
The family will receive friends from 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. Friday at McDow Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, Waynesboro or the Waynesboro First Aid Crew.