Sandra Carol Smith peacefully passed away Friday, February 11, 2022, at Transitions Life Care Hospice in Raleigh, NC, after a rapid health decline from years of multiple health issues. The family would like to express their deepest gratitude and appreciation for the dedicated nurses, doctors, and staff at Duke University Hospital 4th North and Transitions Life Care Hospice that cared for our mother and helped her transition to Heaven.
She was preceded in death by her father Aubrey A. Smith, mother Doris White Smith and brother Charles “Bud” Smith. Sandra leaves behind her beloved children James “Jimmy” Shepard (Lisa) of Winterville, Leigh Ann Cutlip (Brian) of Graham, NC, and Alisa Shepard (Randy) of Cary, NC, and two sisters Linda Faye Jenkins (Carlton) and Sue Akers (Bruce). Her grandchildren were her pride and joy and each one held a key to her heart - Bradley Shepard, Lindsay Shepard, Joshua Cutlip, Ainsley Cutlip, Izzy Jones, Angela Hollen & Samantha McCauley (Colton & son Avett). Sandra was especially close to her sisters and some of her favorite moments were spending time together having coffee, eating ice cream, antiquing, serving at church and Ruritan Club.
She grew up on a farm in Deep Run and her home was filled with love and Christian values. Sandra graduated from Pink Hill High School in 1963 where she played basketball. Sandra was a devoted member of Deep Run Original Free Will Baptist church and the Woman’s Auxiliary.
After graduating from high school, Sandra married Owen P. “Buddy” Shepard, who served the US Army in Panama and California during 1966-1968. Their firstborn, James Owen was born while in Panama. After returning to Kinston, Sandra and Buddy had two daughters Leigh Ann & Alisa Carol, and built a home and farm in Sand Hill community of Lenoir County. After divorcing, Sandra built a successful life for her family. While working fulltime and raising children, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Mount Olive College May 1997, alongside her lifelong best friend June Sanderson. Obtaining her BA degree was one of her proudest achievements. Her business career started in 1970’s where she worked in the law office of Hooten, White & Allen. Her business elevated her to work as a Contract Administrator for Barnett Southern in Kinston 10+ years, DuPont (Kinston, Wilmington, Richmond) 25 years achieving professional certifications winning many awards. And lastly as a Department of Defense contractor in Richmond, VA, she held the highest level of security clearance.
Sandra loved to dance and was often found “cutting the rug” at the Kinston Shag Club in her younger years with friends or anywhere Beach music was playing and a dance floor. Acquiring the love of flowers and birds from her mother, she has passed that love on to her daughters.
Sandra loved her animals dearly and was always bringing home some “sick and afflicted” cat or dog. The more needy it was, the more she loved on it! She couldn’t stand for any of God’s creatures to be hungry, cold or hurting. She had many special furbabies over the years, but the one who was extra special was her Yorkie Nemo, who passed a few months ago. She leaves behind her precious dogs Bella and Rosie, cats Suzy and Muffin.
Sandra had a true servant heart for God, giving time and showing the love of Jesus to everyone she met. She blessed everyone who came into her life and will be missed by family, friends, and church family.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Deep Run Original Free Will Baptist Church, William Hawkins, Treasurer, 3556 Mark N Smith Road, Deep Run NC, 28525 or Lenoir County SPCA at 2455 Rouse Road Ext, Kinston NC, 28504.
A graveside service will be held at Deep Run Original Free Will Baptist Church, 2390 John Green Smith Rd, Deep Run, NC, on March 6, 2022, at 2:00pm. The family requests those attending the service or visiting family members to wear a mask and follow COVID safety protocols.