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February 18, 1934 ~ June 25, 2019 (age 85)
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Mary Jo Nichols Smith

Age 85

Of Athens

Went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at her residence.


A native and lifelong resident of McMinn County, she was the daughter of the late O.R. and Janie Malone Nichols and was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Arnold Smith; father and mother-in-law, Andrew and Edna Smith; sisters and spouses, Robert and Golda Aylor, Lige and Joyce Thompson, Herbert and Velma Duncan, Frank and Beulah Byers; brothers and sisters-in-law, Robert and Deloice Shell, J.C. and Hazel Smith, Earnest and Elizabeth Smith, Jimmy and Ruth Powell and Jay Lingerfelt.


She was a lifetime member of East Athens Baptist Church, where she served as a Sunday school and training union teacher when she was younger.  She also served as church librarian for many years.


She owned and operated Jo’s Grocery in East Athens with her husband for over 30 years and was a former employee of Thomas & Betts.


Survivors include her children,

Butch and Jan Smith, Donna and Bob Housley, Shan and Brett Miller

Grandchildren: Allison and Lance Butler, Maria Housley, Lynne Herndon, Joellen and Matt Ledford, Beth and Daniel Galloway, Brodie Miller, and Sarah Miller

Great grandchildren: Ocoee Rose Butler, Crockett, Holly, Kate and Andrew Herndon, Elijah, Jeremiah and Hannah Ruth Ledford, and Benjamin Galloway.

Brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law,

Neal and Gerwanda Smith, June Lingerfelt and Henry and Nina Smith

Many nieces and nephews and special neighbor and family friend, John Kennedy.


Funeral services will be 1:00 pm Friday at East Athens Baptist Church with the Rev. Jason Robertson and Rev. Pete Mullins officiating.  Burial will follow in McMinn Memory Gardens.


Pallbearers will be grandsons, Brodie Miller, Matt Ledford, Daniel Galloway, Lance Butler, and Joel Webb and Ronnie Morris. Honorary pallbearers will be Dennis Grubb, Randy Mullins, Brent Frank, Kenny Benton, Richard Thompson, Nathan Odom, Radley Lockmiller, Adam Mullins, and Richard Harrill IV.

The family will receive friends from11-1 pm Friday at East Athens Baptist Church.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to East Athens Baptist Church nursery or library, 301 Central Ave. Athens, TN. 37303.


If you are unable to attend the visitation or service, sign the guest registry at


Ziegler Funeral Home has been entrusted with the care of Mary Jo Nichols Smith.

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