Laura Oates Smith

June 12, 1919 - January 29, 2008
Laura Oates Smith

Laura Oates Smith, 88, died Tuesday, January 29, 2008 at her home in Wilmington.

She was born June 12, 1919, on a farm in Sampson County near Faison, NC, to the late Edwin and Laura Mitchell Oates. She was one of 11 children and the first in her family to graduate from college, from East Carolina Teachers’ College. She taught school for several years before marrying Philip C. Smith Jr., a U.S. Naval officer from Akron, OH, in 1951. They lived in Florida, Maine, Ohio, Hawaii, and Bermuda before settling in Wilmington in 1969. She was a loving wife, a great mom, and very devoted to her family.

She is survived by her husband; three children, Philip C. Smith III and wife Charlotte of New Orleans, LA, Laura Melinda Jones and husband Bruce of Seattle, WA, and Tim Smith and wife Freda of Boone, NC; three grandchildren, Jonathan Smith of Atlanta, GA, Larson Smith of Wilmington, and Kelsey Smith of Boone; two step-grandchildren, Stephen Jones and wife Jane and Marc Jones, all of Seattle; one step-great grandchild, Barrett Jones of Seattle; brothers and sisters Margaret Martin of Faison, Robert Oates and wife Margaret of Clinton, NC, Joyce Odom and husband Tatum of Mount Olive, NC, and Sam Oates and wife Jean of Faison; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends at the home from 4-6 p.m. Friday, February 1, 2008.

A memorial service will be held at the Oates family cemetery near Faison at 2 p.m. Saturday, February 2, 2008. A memorial service will be held in Boone at a later date.

Inurnment will be held at the U.S. Naval Academy Columbarium in Annapolis, Md.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice at 2222 S. 17th Street, Ave, Wilmington, N.C. 28401 or the Davis Health Care Center Legacy Fund, 1011 Porter’s Neck Road, Wilmington, NC 28411.

Wilmington Burial and Cremation Service 1535 S. 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28401. 910.791.9099


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  • February 07, 2008
    Jim Mitchell says:
    Sorry to hear about Aunt Laura. We do not keep up with the Oatstown relatives as well as we should. Tom lives in Cary, Mary is still near the home place in Durham. Bob the oldest is in Greenville SC I have moved to Burlington from Clearwater FL. We are Robert and Vivian's Kids. They are also in Heaven. Please keep us informed about the family. May God Bless You, Jim