Linda Pearl Smith was born on January 31, 1943. She passed away at home surrounded by loved ones at 3:45 am, on February 4, 2020. She was 76 years old.
A Memorial Service will be helwas held Sunday at Parkview Church.
Born in Yazoo City, she was the daughter of the late George William Smith Sr. and Lyda Harrell Smith.
She is survived by one sister, Maxine (Mac) Douglas, and three brothers, William (Billy) Smith, Harrell Smith, and Don Smith. Fourteen nieces and three nephews, fourteen great nieces, six great nephews, nine great-great nieces, and nine great-great nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, George William Smith and Lyda Smith, and siblings Robert (Sonny) Smith, Nadine Rozier, and Helen Gordon.
Linda graduated from Yazoo City High School in 1962. In 1963 Linda started as a telephone operator with South Central Bell. Which became Bellsouth and then later AT&T. Linda worked her way to becoming an executive within the company. She was one of the first females in Mississippi to reach executive level. While working with Bellsouth she partnered with the Mississippi Department of Agriculture working closely with Jim Buck Ross traveling nationally and internationally promoting the Taste of Mississippi. She also enjoyed helping with the Dixie National Rodeo and Quarter Horse Shows.
After taking early retirement from AT&T, she started the Esther Stewart Buford Foundation (ESBF) which received non-profit status in 2004. Linda was executive director until she retired in 2019. This foundation was truly a labor of love. The mission of the foundation was to provide low income families with affordable housing. This mission was accomplished by providing over 100 homes to families in Yazoo County. Linda won many awards while working for Bellsouth and ESBF but the one that meant the most was the Skip Jackson Community Service Award received in 2010.
Although, Linda was amazingly successful and dedicated throughout her career, it paled in comparison to how dedicated she was to her family and friends. If you knew Linda, you knew she adored her people. Nothing was to little or to much for her to do when it came to her loved ones.
A sincere thank you to Baptist Hospice with a special thank you to Christine Fletcher, RN and Rashad Wright, CNA for exceptional care. We also to would like to express our gratitude to Mary Ruth Wilson for her friendship and care through illness.