Feb. 12, 1934-June 23, 2020

Funeral services for Mrs. Clara Nell Brown Smith, 86, were held at 11 a.m., Thursday, June 25, 2020, at Bethesda Baptist Church with Elder Hugh Sanders and Brother Al Weeks officiating.

Burial was at Ephesus Cemetery.

Visitation was held one hour prior to the funeral service.

She peacefully went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, at her home surrounded by her family.

“Mama Nell” as she was known by all, was born Feb. 12, 1934, in Jefferson County where she resided her entire life.
Her parents were A. M. (Doc) Brown and Thelma Curtis Brown Stubbs.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sisters, Mary Bush and Martha Buckels; one brother, Doc Brown Jr.; a son-in-law Randy Cummins; and a granddaughter, Hope Emfinger.

She was well known for her athletic ability, and was a star basketball player at Fayette and Union Church high schools.

She was offered a basketball scholarship after graduation, but declined it to marry the love of her life and become our sweet Mama.

She enjoyed collecting antiques and beautiful glassware, and was an upholsterer because she loved making a ragged piece of furniture become a thing of beauty again.

She was also a great cook and made the best homemade biscuits.

“Mama Nell” will also be long remembered for making big, delicious homemade popcorn balls each Halloween for trick-or-treaters.

She loved to laugh and never met a stranger.

Mama and Daddy cherished each visit with their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Mama loved the Lord and shared that love with others.  She was a member of Fayette Baptist Church and attended Bethesda Baptist Church for many years, as well.

Survivors include her beloved husband of 68 years, Rayford Smith; three daughters, Sheila Emfinger and her husband, Butch, Lynda Purser and her husband, John Wayne, of Meadville, and Kay Cummins and special friend, James Neal, of Corsicana, Texas; one son, Ray Smith and his wife, Julie, of Fayette; her brothers, Hugh Brown of Brandon and Bobby Stubbs of Raymond; her grandchildren, Brad Emfinger, Britney McWilliams, Rachel Brocato, Adam Purser, Emy Roider, Jill Ephlin, Shelley Golden, Jennifer West and Josh Smith; 17 great-grandchildren; a very special brother-in-law, Joe Smith; and sisters-in-law, Christine Warren and Faye Keeton.

The family would like to express its sincere gratitude to her caregivers, Pat Wells, Sonya Kennedy, Deborah Thomas and Ann Houghton for their loving care during her illness.

Memorials can be made to Ephesus Cemetery, 835 Red Lick Road, Lorman, MS 39096.

Condolences and other information are available online from

Riverwood Family Funeral Services of Brookhaven was in charge of arrangements.

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