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Mary Ellen Smith

April 21, 2019
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Mary Ellen Smith, at the age of 85 was called home to the Lord on Easter Sunday, April 21st 2019.

Mary Ellen was born on January 10, 1934 to Eddie and Daisy Smith in Louisville, Kentucky. She was certainly a Daddy’s girl. She was the eldest of 3 sisters Angie Smith (predeceased), Sandra Jeannie, Carolyn Smith (predeceased).  She later married William C. Pursley and gave birth to her two sons Steven Carlos Pursley, and Jerome Pursley who preceded her in death.

Mary Ellen Smith worked 22 years at New York Hospital she also enjoyed vacationing to various tropical islands with friends. Once retired she moved to Virginia Beach, VA along with her son, Steven and wife, Janie. Janie was a devoted daughter in-law who cared for her in health and in sickness. Mary Ellen and Janie were inseparable and she could always count on her daughter in-law even leading up to her passing.

Mary Ellen Smith was a pivotal staple in her community and better known as Ms. Mary to the children she nurtured in the neighborhood.  She opened a daycare in her Virginia Beach home. Mary Ellen Smith could befriend anyone. Though soft-spoken Mary Ellen was very direct and to the point and said what she meant. She also volunteered at DePaul Medical Center where she would visit and provide companionship to the elderly. Mary Ellen was a God fearing woman and stayed true to her faith through action.

Fun childhood memories with our Grandmother included shopping trips to Macy’s (her favorite store), tea parties and weekend trips to the movies or long walks with her and her dog, Champ.

Mary Ellen taught all her granddaughters to carry themselves with class and elegance. She was great at whatever she did from dancing to singing, and baking. She also loved nature and had a green thumb when it came to gardening, which would explain why her favorite color was green.

She is survived by her sister, Sandra Jean Smith, daughter-in-law, Janie Pursley, grandchildren, Sherese, Christiana, Shahara (Thomas), and Geni; Great-grandchildren Taryn, Kesean, Amir, Sincere, Nascere, Jaidyn, Makaila, Aniyah, and Great-Great Grandchildren Atwood and Cayden.

We extend a whole hearted thank you to Heritage Hall Nursing Home for their continuous care and attention to Mary Ellen Smith.

Family and Close Friends will be received at Keith Matthews Funeral Home at 5665 Virginia Beach Boulevard, Virginia Beach at 6:00 P.M.  on Wednesday, April 24, 2019. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at

Grandma, we thank you for your love, prayers, and nurturing throughout the years. You were an amazing Grandmother and friend. You are loved and will truly be missed….. Your Family

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