Lou Ann Smith was born Lou Ann Thomas in Warren, Ohio on September 12, 1959, to parents Marie F. Thomas and Raymond C. Thomas. She was the eleventh child of twelve brothers and sisters (Raymond Jr., James, Johnny, Alfred, Aaron, Joseph, Eddie, Annette, Yvette, Barbara, and Mary). She attended Warren City Schools where her lively spirit was on full display in her extracurricular activities such as her Alpha sponsored scout troop the Honey Bees, and her Little Eagles cheerleading squad- and she flourished throughout her studies at Warren G. Harding High School where she proudly obtained her diploma.
It was the next chapter of her life which really helped her to shape who she was as an adult. She attended Kent State University and eagerly engaged in several aspects of student life at the University such as; the drama and arts club where she acted and participated in numerous stage productions, pledged and proudly was a soror, showed much interest and skill in several African dance and cultural studies courses, and majored and graduated with her BA in Criminal Justice in the late 1970’s. Kent State University is also where she met and married her future husband Dwight R. Smith in 1983. Upon graduation set and achieved a major life goal for herself of becoming the first African American and second female officer to be sworn into the Warren City Police Department. She diligently vowed to protect and serve her hometown with pride and excellence. She was employed as an officer of the law until the arrival of her two children Shakira and Leigh-Anna Smith. She then switched gears on her career but always worked within her chosen career path and continued to work hard as a caregiver at a group home for adults with developmental disabilities for a number of years. Following at her next chosen path of her career she discovered that she was a beacon of hope and encouragement to others around her and she worked as a counselor/ social worker at Harbor Light Inc., where she helped several individuals reconnect themselves with society after having been incarcerated in the prison system. She then returned to work as a Direct Support Professional and continued her career in working with individuals with mental and physical disabilities with Blossom Hill Inc. where she worked tirelessly from 2006 until shortly before her passing in April 2022.
Throughout her life, Lou Ann always was concerned, supportive, and encouraging, of others, and always allowed God to be a focal point in her life during good and bad times. She always turned to God and heavily relied on her spirituality, which included her love of inspirational and gospel music to help keep her strong in her faith throughout her life. She loved and embraced people around her and always stayed as optimistic as she possibly could. She loved her children and grandchildren and proudly guided them with love, kindness, and patience and she always worked hard to provide for and protect her family. She will be remembered as a woman who was selfless and always wore a smile even when times were tough. She had a quiet strength and did her absolute best not to complain and look toward a better future. Her character remained strong, determined, and serene, and her temperament could best be shown from the time that she was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer and myeloma in July 2021 until her passing into heaven. Lou Ann had every right to cry, be mad, or even fall into depression after her diagnosis, but instead she chose to be brave, and courageous, and loved and lived every moment that she was given with her loved ones- neither hard times nor cancer would rob her of who she was. Throughout her life and even through her battle with cancer, she remained graceful and stayed deeply rooted in her spirituality until the Lord called her home on April 8th, 2022. At 4:10pm.
Lou Ann is survived by her loving husband and longtime love Selvyn Stover, children Shakira and Leigh- Anna Smith, grandchildren Mikayla, Jaydyn, and Jhonathyn, son in laws Jermaine Clements and Joseph Parker, sisters Annette and Yvette, brothers James, Johnny, Aaron and Joseph , a host of beautiful nieces and loving nephews, cousins, and countless friends throughout her life who cherished the time that they were able to have with the dearly departed Lou Ann Smith.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10
“Surely God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2
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