Mary Etta Bynum Smith, 87, of Newport, NC, peacefully passed away Thursday, February 6, 2020. Mary Etta was born April 17, 1932 in Kinston to the late John Carlton Bynum, Sr. and Sallie Dixon Bynum.
Mary Etta was a resident of Lenoir County until 2016 when she and her husband, Edward Thomas Smith Sr., relocated to Newport. As a 1951 graduate of Grainger High School, she attended Flora MacDonald College in Red Springs before graduating from Atlantic Christian College with a degree in education. Mrs. Smith began her career by teaching one year in South Boston, Virginia before returning to Lenoir County where she taught thirty years. She retired from Rochelle Middle School in 1989. During her career she made many lasting friendships with her co-workers and students.
She was a member of the Tanglewood Church of God in Kinston before moving to Newport where she attended Bethlehem United Methodist Church.
Mary Etta’s hobbies included gardening, reading, and swimming. Her swimming pool was always open to her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, extended family and many neighborhood children who learned to swim under her direction.
Mary Etta is survived by her loving husband of 63 years, Edward Thomas Smith, Sr.; daughter, Karen Smith Lee and husband Steve of Greenville, SC; son, Edward Thomas Smith, Jr. and wife Robin of Newport; grandchildren, Paige Rostin and husband Mike, Joseph McCown, Edward Thomas Smith, III, (Trey), Madison Smith and Katie Hylton; two great-grandchildren, Saunders Rostin and McCrae Rostin; and her loving dog, Nellie. She also leaves behind many special nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents Mary Etta was predeceased by her beloved aunt, Bertie Bynum Ward, and brothers, John Carlton Bynum, Jr. and James Edward Bynum.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, February 15, 2020, at Howard-Carter Funeral Home, with the Rev. David Cauley officiating. The family will receive friends following the service. The family requests no flowers. Memorial contributions may be made to Bethlehem United Methodist Church, 728 Bogue Loop Rd., Newport, NC 28570.
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