By Rebecca Goodman
Enquirer staff writer
ADDYSTON - Nellie E. Smith, former head cook for Meredith Hitchens Elementary School and all-around good neighbor in Addyston, died Monday at Mercy Franciscan Hospital Western Hills Campus. She was 84.
Mrs. Smith was a "grand lady - simply a fantastic woman," said Don Larrick, principal at Meredith Hitchens. "The kids loved her. No matter what the kids' situation, she made sure they ate."
When pupils had no money for lunch or had reached the limit on their charges, Mrs. Smith might buy their lunches for them or otherwise rustle up something. If a child had no lunch to take on a field trip, Mrs. Smith would pack one.
In the days before the school breakfast program "if a kid came to school and hadn't had anything to eat, she'd get them a little something," Larrick said.
And she would help the teachers by preparing food for their class parties.
"She was a good Christian woman," Larrick said. "She had a real nice family. Her kids were all great kids."
A mother of six, Mrs. Smith was a Girl Scout leader, a Cub Scout den mother and PTA president. She was also the spiritual mother of her church - Phillips Chapel CME. For 60 years, she supported the Women's Missionary Society and served as treasurer, organist, choir member, director of the Christian education committee, superintendent of Sunday school and president of the missionary and stewardesses committees.
She and her husband, George, who died in 1995, were known around the village of Addyston as community chauffeurs because of their willingness to drive anyone to activities and appointments.
Survivors include three sons, George Jr., Edward and James Smith; three daughters, Charlotte Goodlett and Alice and Christine Smith; a brother, George Bealer; 13 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren.
Visitation is 10 a.m. today, followed by the funeral at 11 a.m. at Phillips Chapel CME Church, 282 Main St., Addyston. Interment will be at Maple Grove Cemetery.
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