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Nell Smith

August 19, 1924 ~ June 24, 2016 (age 91)
Nell Denton Smith, age 91, of Russellville died on June 24, 2016, at Arkansas Hospice River Valley Home in Russellville, Arkansas. She was born August 19, 1924 in Plainview, Arkansas to John Jacob and Edna Dowell Denton. Other than her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Robert Gerald Smith; son, Robert Gerald Smith, Jr.; brothers, Lawrence, Loren, Dowell and Dale Denton.

Survivors include her sister, Frankie Denton Casey and husband Bob of Russellville, Ark.; nieces, Cheryl Denton, Hot Springs, Ark.; Sherry Bullard, Little Rock, Ark.; Laura Crowder, Van Buren, Ark.; Joyce Sinclair, Wichita, Kansas; nephews, James Denton, Fort Smith, Ark.; Paul Denton, Mayflower, Ark.; Bill Denton, Glenview, Illinois; Dale Denton, Jr., Enid, Oklahoma; Jacob Denton, Wichita, Kansas; Mike Casey, Springfield, Missouri and Pat Casey, Newberry, South Carolina.

She was of the Methodist faith and a long-time member of First United Methodist Church in Russellville. After graduation from Russellville High School she had a brief career at the Bank of Russellville while continuing her education to obtain her teaching certificate. Soon she met and married Gerald and shortly after the couple moved to Pine Bluff, where Nell began teaching early childhood education, a profession she excelled in for many years. Grown students of hers talk to this day about the kindergarten and first grade instructor that provided such a great and stable start for them.

Somewhat later in her working life she converted a pastime into another career and started working from home as a professional seamstress. Some ladies in Jefferson County, Arkansas may still have a creation of Nell's hanging in their closets.

As both Nell and Gerald approached retirement, they returned to Russellville, the town they always called home. They resided for many years at Wildflower, now Brookdale of Russellville, an assisted living facility that Nell truly enjoyed. She served there as head of the resident's association until her health declined.

She was a gracious and caring lady, and a loving mother, wife, homemaker and one of the South's greatest cooks. She will be missed by the many who knew and loved her.

Funeral Service will be 11:00 AM, Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at First United Methodist Church. Rev. Gail Brooks will officiate. Visitation will be from 10:30 AM until service time at the church. Burial will be at Oakland Cemetery in Russellville under the direction of Humphrey Funeral Service. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 304 S. Commerce Ave, Russellville, AR 72801. The obituary and online guestbook may be viewed at

Cemetery Details

Oakland Cemetery


JUN 28. 10:30 AM

First United Methodist Church

304 S. Commerce

Russellville, AR, US

Funeral Service

JUN 28. 11:00 AM

First United Methodist Church

304 S. Commerce

Russellville, AR, US

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