“With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.”
Mother Emma Jean Givens Smith was born April 3, 1934 in Hampton, SC, a daughter of the late Berry and Carrie Mingo Givens. She attended the Hampton County Colored School (Old Ben Hazel). During her youth she became a member of the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church in Hampton, SC.
In October of 1961 she wedded the late Mr. Fred Douglas Smith and they reared eight children. One daughter, Tina P. Smith Capers has preceded her in death.
Emma was a child care provider. Not only did she care for a lot of her own grandchildren but provided care for over eleven others who she considered her grandchildren. She taught them to talk, walk, and even potty-trained them. Not only did she care for the children, but she also looked out for their parents’ well-being.
During her “free time”, Emma enjoyed playing games such as Bingo, Pity Pat, and later on Pokeno. Her passion was cooking. If you came by her house you would not have to miss a meal because she cooked enough to feed her own Army and another Army. Everyone ate. She taught all the children and grandchildren how to cook (one escaped the lessons). When her health failed and she was no longer able to cook and care for the children, that did not stop her from giving instructions on how to raise children or cooking.
Besides her parents, husband and daughter, Emma was also predeceased by a brother, Willie Burn Givens; two sisters, Geneva G. Cook, and Mary C. Curry; step-sons Willie Joe Smith and Clarence Smith; grandchildren, Quinton Shaw and Rufus Capers Capers, Jr.; a great-grandchild, Anthony Capers; daughters-in-love, Annette H. Givens, Carol “Jessie Mae” Smith; and sons-in-love, Fred Capers and Rufus Capers, Sr.
Emma’s precious memories will be cherished by her loving children: Patsy (Nathaniel) Smith, Linda Givens, Gwendolyn Smith, Bobby Givens, Arthur (Natasha) Smith, Michael, Sr. (Vicki) Smith all of Hampton, SC; Douglas (Delhia) Smith, Estill, SC; Scottie (Angela) Smith, Columbia, SC; Deloris Capers, Varnville; Jennie (Moses) Young, Beaufort, SC; Mrs. Vanessa (Gregory) Greene, Ridgeland, SC; Juanita Davis, Indiana; Hector Rakes, Greenville, SC; Eloise Smith, Newark, NJ; 43 grandchildren; including Anthony Givens, Ashley Givens, Octavia C. Blake, Sgt. Christopher Cooler, and Kaishonnie Cooler who were reared in the home; 43 great-grandchildren including Owen Bradley Strozier and Kinsley Mirah Cooler who were reared in the home; 17 great-great grandchildren; sister-in-law, Ms. Ora Smith, Hampton, SC; numerous supportive nieces and nephews, other relatives; a host of adoptive children; the children for who she provided care; special friends: Cynthia Early, Charlie Gray, Louise Middleton, Theodore and Betty Murdaugh, and Annie Lee Edwards.