Bettie Sue Smith was born April 30, 1937 near Bigbee Valley, Mississippi, one of seven children born to the union of Era and Robert Gavins. She departed this life peacefully in her sleep in the comfort of her home on Sunday, April 7, 2019.
At an early age her parents relocated the family to Lockport, Illinois where she attended Lockport High School. Later she married Mitchell Charles Smith, Sr. who departed this life in 1995. Together they raised seven children and four were born to this union.
Bettie was baptized and filled with the holy ghost at an early age. She loved playing the tambourine and singing songs of worship. One of her favorites, “You’re Bigger” was often sung and brought her great joy! She attended Shiloh Baptist Church under the pastorate of the late Reverend James Walton. Later, she joined Fellowship Church of God and Christ, Pastor Stanley Rimpson. Bettie loved to cook and family and friends enjoyed her “one-of-a-kind” Italian spaghetti. Bettie was employed at Caterpillar in Joliet, Illinois where she retired after 30 plus years of service.
Bettie is preceded in death by two brothers; Robert Gavins, Jr. and James Gavins; three sisters; Cora Black, Eva Polk, Martha Jones; two daughters: Vickie Gavins and Charlene Smith, and one son.
She leaves to cherish her memory; her loving children, Barbara Robinson, Trina Gavins, Mitchell Smith, Jr. (Brenda), Sharon Beamon (Edward), Darnell Smith (Sylvia) all of Joliet, Illinois; one sister, Betty Ruth Hill (Clarence) of St. Louis, MO; 16 grandchildren, 8 step-grands, over 25 great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.