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Bessie Smith
Bessie May Smith, whose reaching of the age 100 was highlighted in the Courier in March, has died.

Mrs. Smith died on Thursday, Sept. 13 at Hale Aloha Convalescent Hospital in Ceres.

Funeral services will be held at at 3 p.m. Saturday at Allen Mortuary in Turlock.

Mrs. Smith's family helped her celebrate her 100th birthday on March 9. She was born March 14, 1907 in Little Rock, Ark., and grew up in Kansas and Oklahoma. She was living in Baxter Springs, Mo., when her family brought her to live with them in Stanislaus County. Mrs. Smith had been a homemaker and raised five children: Lena Carter and Samuel Edwards, both of Arizona and Claud Edwards, Viola Carter and Charles Edwards, all deceased. She also loved and raised three children during her second marriage: Beetress Webber, Earl Smith, and Choetta Sue Smith.

Mrs. Smith cooked on a wood stove until the 1960s and she was described as a great cook of southern dishes. At times she was fun and quite the jokester.

Three years ago she moved to Hale Aloha in Ceres.

Besides her children, Mrs. Smith leaves behind 30 grandchildren and numerous great- and great-great-grandchildren. She was preceeded in death by her husband Clyde Earle Smith, and her ex-husband, Vollie Edwards, five children and six grandchildren.

-Ceres (Calif.) Courier /September 19, 2007