Bessie “Maw Bessie” Benson Smith, of Savannah, was born in Hardin County on Oct. 1, 1932, the daughter of the late Arch Daniel and Lou Austin Benson.
On Sept. 21, 1952, she was united in marriage to Alvin Eugene Smith, who preceded his wife in death on Jan. 19, 1993.
Bessie was a homemaker and a feisty little woman. She lived in Hardin County all her life. Bessie enjoyed baby-sitting, gardening, canning, picking cotton and playing dominoes.
She departed this life on Tuesday, Aug. 17, in Savannah, at the age of 88 years, 10 months and 16 days.
Bessie is survived by her children, Barbara Shubert, Wanda Franks and her husband Howard, Becky Lambert and her husband Dennis, Garry Smith and his wife Kelly and Arthur Smith, all of Savannah; grandchildren, Tim Shubert and his wife Trish, Dale Schubert, Brianna Wilkins, Wendie Franks Bible and her husband Sam, Patricia Franks Poppy and her husband Bubba, Ginger Franks Vanhoose and her husband Jeff, Daniel Franks, Rebecca Franks Sanders and her husband Goose, Adam Franks and his wife Codie, Brandie Franks, Terry Smith, Michael Smith and his wife Jamie, Glen Smith, Joey Smith, Ethan Smith, Hadley Smith, Chad Lambert and his wife Erika, Josh Smith, Brandon Smith and his wife Haley and Kayla Smith; 41 great grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; sisters, Reba Moore of Savannah, Gladys Wilson of Jackson, Tennessee, and Jeannie Mitchell of Savannah; and one brother, Stanley Benson of Savannah.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by two daughters, Mary Lou Franks and Betty Jane O’Daniel; one son, Alvin Ray Smith; three sisters, Dessie Taylor (her twin sister), Peggy Edwards and Ruby Stark; four brothers, Willard, Clinton, Calvin and Jerry Benson; and three great-grandchildren.
Services were held on Saturday, Aug. 21, at 11 a.m., at Shackelford Funeral Directors of Savannah with Carl Copeland and R.L. Qualls officiating. Burial followed in Hollands Creek Cemetery at Savannah.