And I said, “Oh that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away and be at rest.”
Lydia Lee Blake was born into this world on May 12, 1923 in Emmet, Arkansas, to Matthew and Nobie Hall Blake.
At a tender age Lydia confessed her faith in Christ and was baptized. She attended public school up to her 10th grade year, later earning her GED. Coming from a family of eleven children she mastered cooking. Lydia relocated to Chicago, Illinois. In 1958, she married George Smiley. She was a faithful worker and retired from a supervisory position with Holiday Inn’s housekeeping department. After relocating to Camden, Arkansas, she worked as a supervisor for Ouachita County Medical Center’s housekeeping, and finally retiring after working in private home care.
Since the early 1970’s, she has been a member of Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Camden, Arkansas. She loved her church family. In the early years, Lydia sang in the Mass Choir, Lincoln Love, and Order of Eastern Star. She received her spiritual nourishment and inspiration in the church and learned how to be a servant.
Lydia was always ready to serve. Those she touched and those who knew her witnessed her untiring love for God. She possessed a strong work ethic, gentle demeanor, and subtle degree of sophistication. One of her greatest joys was spending memorable moments with relatives both young and old, fishing, and tending to her garden. Her legacy of family togetherness, hospitality and community will live on in the hearts of her loved ones and friends.
“Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit “they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them.”
In her 100th season Lydia passed into the Lord’s embrace on Thursday, July 13, 2023. She was preceded in transition by her beloved parents; her husband George Smiley (May 17, 1993) ; two children, Arlea Hopson, and Ledge Hopson; two grandchildren, Henry Lee Hopson, and Ronnie Charles Hopson; one great-grandchild; three sisters, Lula Blake, Mary Nell Newman, and Corine Baker; five brothers, Willie Blake, Earnest Blake, Johnny Blake, Dinzer Blake, and Douglas Blake.
She leaves to forever remember her legacy four grandchildren, Charles Hopson, Janet (Jeffrey) Martin, Richard (Marty) Hopson all of Camden, AR; Michael (Vivian) Williams of Jackson, MS; one daughter-in-law, Dorothy Payne Hopson of Camden, AR; sixteen great grandchildren, eleven great-great grandchildren, one brother, Errien Jake Blake of Rosston, AR; two sisters, Ocie May Gulley and Mattie Palms of Dallas, TX; she also leaves other relatives, and countless other friends.
Public visitation will be Thursday, July 20, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at Williams Funeral Home Van Buren. A home going celebration will be shared on Friday, July 21, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church, 675 Visor Ave. SE, with Rev. Tommy Law, eulogist.
The interment will be at Eternal Rest Cemetery. Pallbearers are Aaron Hopson, Ethan Hopson, Michael Gulley, Courtney Palms, Johnny Blake, and Daiterius Hopson. Honorary Pallbearers are Ervin Jake Blake, Richard Hopson, Charles Hopson, Michael Williams, and Jeffery Martin.