Judy Lee Smith

Photo of Judy Lee Smith
Angels are the bright lights in the midst of our lives! Our angel, Judy Lee Smith, 73 of Rogers, Ark. died on August 30th, 2023. Judy was born in Midland, Texas, on June 13th, 1950, to George and Ruby Carr. She was preceded in death by her parents; along with her brother, Donald Carr. She is survived by her loving husband, Scott, sons, Gaven Smith (Tabitha) of Rogers, Ark., Zachary Smith of Austin, Texas; and daughter, Shea Deimel (B.J.) of Rogers, Ark. To her six grandchildren, Payton and Kaden Smith, Drew and Dax Deimel, and Zoey and Addilyn Smith, she answered to G-Mom, Honey, and Ga-Ga. Other survivors include her sister, Jan Northcross (Fred) of Huntsville; her brother, George "Stormy" Carr of Springdale, Ark.; step-grandchildren, Kade Kamali and Katie Tharp; nieces/nephews, loving friends, and former students. Judy graduated in 1972 from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. She did her student teaching at Elkins Elementary, where she also taught her first year. Judy and Scott married on June 16th, 1973. They moved to Rogers, Ark., and have made it their home for the past 50 years. Judy taught for the Rogers School System for 27 years, holding teaching positions at Lowell, Eastside, and Reagan Elementary. She mentored nine student teachers and won many awards throughout her teaching career, including the Reagan Teacher of the Year, the Bonnie Grimes Award at Eastside and Reagan, and was named Who's Who Among America's Teachers. She was also a leader outside of the classroom serving in a variety of roles to advance elementary education in the region and state. These positions included being a Smart Start Facilitator instructor for Reagan, North Central Chairman for Eastside, COE State chairman for Reagan, State North Central/COE Evaluative team, and working on a pilot math and reading program for the State of Arkansas. When Judy retired from the Rogers School System, she ended up working seven years for the Farmington School district as a long-term substitute for other teachers on maternity leave. At the end of her time at Farmington, the school board presented her a plaque to honor her service inscribed with the following: "You told them that the world could not do without them, and they could do anything they set their minds to, and they could be the brightest shiniest stars in the sky, and the world would be a better place because of them." This award truly captured the spirit of Judy as a teacher. As her students would attest, she was a master instructor who maintained high expectations for all her students. She loved teaching her first graders to read and insisted on excellent penmanship skills. Judy felt in her heart that she could teach any child to read by the end of the first grade. Her philosophy of teaching was grounded in the belief in a personal connection with each child and making sure they knew she believed in them. Judy had a plaque that hung in her classroom that said: "The greatest gift a child can have is a great teacher early in life." She truly believed that she could be that teacher for the many students who were lucky enough to have had her. After Judy and Scott retired, they enjoyed traveling regularly. Judy was blessed to mark off every destination on her bucket list which included a trip along the California Highway 1 coastline, gondola rides in the Venice canals, tours of Martha's Vineyard, exploring Austrian castles, and walks along the hillsides of Cinque Terre, Italy. Throughout her life, Judy was a fixture at sporting events. She could always be found on the bleachers cheering for her husband's Oakdale basketball teams and she was a steady presence at all her children and grandchildren's school and athletic events. She was a voracious reader. She loved to garden, take care of her flowers, and feed her birds. Most of all, Judy loved to cook. She was known for her famous "Sunday night suppers" that were open every week for family and friends (who were always treated like and felt like family). She never cooked without an apron, never went out of the house without makeup, and was always wearing her favorite Chico clothes. She loved to collect Annalee dolls and angels. Judy believed in the presence of angels as divine messengers. To angels, all roads lead to Heaven and her family knows that's where she is now watching over them. Visitation will be closed casket at Rollins Funeral Home on Tuesday, September 5th, 2023 from 5-7 p.m. Funeral services will held on Wednesday, September 6th, 2023 beginning at 10 a.m., followed by graveside service at Huntsville Cemetery. Flowers and/or memorial contributions to Rogers Public Educational Foundation are equally welcome. Rogers Public Educational Foundation To give: ( or P.O. Box 1021, Rogers, Ark. 72757 Online condolences and service details available at

Published September 2, 2023