Annie Laurie (Hogan) Smith died the evening of January 12, 2023, in Lakeland, Florida at the age of 96.
She was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 4, 1926, and moved to Lakeland with her family few years later due to the hardships of the Great Depression.
She went to Lakeland area schools and graduated Valedictorian of LHS Class of 1944. After high school, she worked as a secretary/bookkeeper for an insurance agency and attended Florida Southern College. After her childhood sweetheart, Levie Smith, Jr., finished Naval basic training and Officer Candidate School, they became engaged and were married in 1948. During the Korean War, they spent a few years in North Africa, where her husband was stationed in Port Lyautey in Morocco.
Annie Laurie was a dedicated supportive wife, a loving mother of three, grandmother of four, great-grandmother of six, and a very kind neighbor and friend. She enjoyed growing roses and being in the Lakeland Garden Club. She ran a children’s taxi service (her words) to Scouts, dance lessons, piano lessons, and band practice. She really loved being a mother and everything that motherhood could possibly involve, as well as being a gracious hostess for family parties and her husband’s business functions.
She never completed college, but she educated herself and had a natural intelligence and curiosity about everything. She instilled this zest for learning in her children, who she taught to be “World Book Lookies” – to be inquisitive like she was and to “look it up”. Her children were hesitant to play a game of Scrabble with her because she would always win!
As her children approached college age, it became apparent that it would be necessary for her to go back to work. She left her well-loved job as a “traditional” mother, but she just loved her children in another way – by providing for their education. She worked for 19-1/2 years as a legal secretary. She excelled in this position, as she was smart, skilled, and a natural organizer. After her retirement, she was able to attend functions with her husband and to travel to see grandchildren and the world.
Annie Laurie is survived by her three children, Nancy Smith of Lakeland, FL, L. David Smith III (Charleen) of Columbia, SC, Judy Smith Willis (Mike) of Powder Springs, GA, four granddaughters, Sarah Smith Gucwa (Jason) of Franklin, TN, Emily Smith Waites (Michael) of Collierville, TN, Katherine Willis Safon (Kévin) of Cormeilles-en-Parisis, France, and Lauren Willis Murphy (Ryan) of Roswell, GA. Her six great-grandchildren include Braddock and Abram Waites of Collierville, TN, Jackson Gucwa of Franklin, TN, Navie and Medli Safon of Cormeilles-en-Parisis, France, and Margaret “Maggie” Murphy of Roswell, GA. Survivors also include her cousin (they had a special bond) Dr. Thomas Peter Bennett (Gudrun Dorothea Staub) of Silver Spring, MD. She is predeceased by her parents, Annie Velma (Smith) and Pink Thomas Hogan, Sr., husband Levie David Smith, Jr. and brother Pink Thomas Hogan of Macon, GA.
The service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 18 at Presbyterian Chapel in the Grove. Interment will follow at 1:30 p.m. at Lakeland Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends at the Chapel from 10 to 11 a.m. prior to the service.
Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.
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