Linda Susan (Means) Smith
My beautiful and magnificent wife Linda Smith passed away on Sept. 27, 2020, after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Linda did not lose her battle with cancer. She stood up to cancer and didn’t let it take her the many times it tried. She went to Jesus on her own terms. We want to thank all of the doctors and nurses in Oklahoma City, Ardmore and Dallas who helped her and David fight so bravely. We also want to thank Cross Timbers Hospice and Ideal Home Health for all of the love, comfort and support they showed Linda and our entire family. Linda’s life will be celebrated at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, at First Baptist Church of Ardmore, officiated by Dr. Alton Fannin and David and Linda’s nephew, Rev. J. Vince Smith. A private burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery in Ardmore.
Linda Susan (Means) Smith, 70, of Ardmore, passed into eternity on Sept. 27, 2020 with her beloved David by her side. She was born June 1, 1950 in Wilson, Okla., to J.B. and Dolores Means and was the eldest of three children. Linda was born into an ideal American family that had been built on hard work and hard times. Linda was blessed with two loving parents who did everything possible to make sure education was a focus in their kids’ lives. Linda listened, absorbed, and passed it on to her children and grandchildren, not to mention the countless children she positively affected over her nearly four decades of public school education.
Linda married David Smith on May 23, 1975 and together they were blessed with two amazing sons, Rusty and Drew. School and education were so important to Linda, and that theme was common throughout their home growing up. It was a well-rounded home, and Linda always made time to juggle work with her boys’ activities. So much so that Rusty and Drew annually received the Charles Evans Perfect Attendance Award, but then again they really didn’t have a choice!
Linda graduated from Ardmore High School in 1968 and in 1971 went on to earn a bachelors degree in education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. As you would expect Linda furthered her education later in her career, earning two masters degrees, one in education and one in administration.
Linda started teaching in Paden, Okla., right out of college and by the end of the first semester she had taught 17 first graders how to read. Not how to read better, but how to actually read. That was a big accomplishment then and it certainly would be today.
Linda spent 38 years in education and during this time was a teacher, principal at Will Rogers and Northwest Elementary in Ardmore, and Curriculum Director of Ardmore City Schools. She was an active member and past officer of Delta Kappa Gamma Honorary Educators Society and member of the Paul Harris Society. She fought for children, and was always voicing her opinion that the best educators should work at the schools that had the most disadvantaged students. It was no wonder her work nickname was “Thorn.” To put it bluntly, Linda could at times be considered “plainspoken.”
She and David opened Dave’s Dipstick in 1997, a vision they both shared for several years. They were co-owners in what has proven to be just another part of this wonderful life. Later in life Linda was a dedicated member of the Arbuckle Sunrise Rotary Club and passionate about the Rotary Dictionary Project. She ordered, prepared and delivered dictionaries to all Carter County 3rd graders for 20 years. As a member of the Rotarians Visiting Rotarians Club she traveled to the Philippines in 1997 for an exchange trip. The month-long trip was hard, and she was miserable quite a bit. She stayed with Rotarian families all over the country and many houses had live animals and dirt floors inside. But like with her cancer battle, Linda stayed the course, had a positive effect on the people she encountered, and returned with a wonderful new perspective.
Linda was full of life. She cherished her children and grandchildren, and was a member of First Baptist Church, having accepted Christ at age 14. Grammy was the best grandmother. We all had great times together and took vacations all over the United States. There was a new, different light in her eyes when her grandchildren came around, and that light will shine on in these special children and young adults.
The family would like the world to know about the love story of David and Linda Smith. They met when Linda was shopping for a new car (she had a few fender benders over the years), and from that moment their life together began. Linda was unwaveringly devoted to David, her equally devoted husband of 45 years. They raised two smart boys to be strong men that are equipped to face anything the world throws at them. It was a happy home with memories that will last forever. But only Linda and David know the true depths of that love. Linda knew she was in the fight of her life and she knew David Truman Smith was with her every step of the way. Many angel wings have been earned during this battle.
Who was Linda Smith? She loved her Mama. She loved her Daddy and she loved her husband, sons, and family. Linda loved reading, playing Uno for blood, having Saturday morning family breakfasts, hunting for shells at the beach, and going shopping with the “Antiquing Ladies.” Linda Smith was simply the best daughter, wife, mom, sister, and Grammy. She is a warrior and she is our hero.
Linda was preceded in death by her father, J.B Means, and by her mother and best friend, Dolores Means. She is survived by her husband, David Smith of Ardmore; her sons, Rusty Smith and wife Toni, of Fort Gibson, and Drew Smith and wife Meredith, of Ardmore; brother Ronnie Means and his wife Linda, of Ardmore; brother Steve Means, of Ardmore; grandchildren Grayson Smith, Connor Smith, Madeline Smith and Anderson Smith; and many uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins. Linda also leaves behind her faithful companion Roxy who never missed a day sleeping next to her, barking at visitors or, most importantly, comforting her.
Serving as pallbearers are Marshall Means, Casey Smith, Jason Smith, Kazuhiro Sekimoto, Sam Bradley, and Robert Meek. Honorary pallbearers are Dave Rickard, John Cobb, Emmett Hudgins, Mike Simmons, the Arbuckle Sunrise Rotary Club, and the “Antiquing Ladies.”
In lieu of flowers and to honor her precious grandson Anderson Smith, the family requests that donations be made in Linda Smith’s name to the American Heart Association, 3401 NW 63rd St., Ste. 200, Oklahoma City, OK 73116. With the current pandemic in mind the family requires the guests to wear appropriate facial coverings at the service or join the service via live feed at fbcardmore.org should anyone not feel comfortable attending in person.
Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020 at Griffin ~ Hillcrest. Social distancing and masks are required.
Our wonderful and magnificent Linda, Mom, Grammy…we love you and will see you in Heaven.
Condolences may be left at griffinhillcrest.com.
Posted online on September 29, 2020