Vara (Ferguson) Smith

Mrs. Vara (Ferguson) Smith died on April 13, 2019 at the age of 101, to have her resurrected life now in Eternity. She was born on August 24, 1917 of parents Carrie and Gus Ferguson of Atlanta, La. and was the second eldest of seven children.

Mom married J.P. Smith on September 20, 1941 and was widowed when Dad died after only 22 years of marriage. Together they had three children, Goldaree (Robert) Sommerville; Rodger (Marilyn) Smith and Rayburn (Emily) Smith. Mom took great pride and joy in her 9 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband (‘Smith”), November 22, 1963; her parents Gus and Carrie Ferguson, her four brothers and two sisters and their spouses.

Vara (Mom) attended school in Atlanta from the first grade through high school, graduating in 1934. Prior to her marriage she worked at Milam’s Department store in Winnfield. When Mom and Dad were first married they lived in Atlanta for a short period of time and then in Benton, La, before they made their life long home on Gum Springs Road.

As a single mom, after Dad died, it was necessary for Mom to work outside the home. She had a varied and rewarding work career; managing Piggly Wiggly’s Stamp center in Winnfield; then as District Manager of World Book Encyclopedia, requiring her to travel over most of North Central Louisiana. Her last work was as a Deputy Sheriff in Winn Parish, a position she thoroughly enjoyed for several years. Mom was a real people person and loved her work.

She was very enthusiastic about life’s changes and graciously accepted all challenges. Her life was enriched by her faith in God which sustained her through poverty, illness, loss of loved ones, and adjusting to this chaotic and ever changing world. She was a long time member of Atlanta Baptist Church. Support of a loving family, friends, and her church were always a great comfort to her.

Vara’s greatest gift to all who loved her was her servant attitude, cheerful nature and sense of humor. She was quick with a listening ear, wise counsel, and a shoulder to weep on.

We, her family, thank God for the gift of her 101 years. She has profoundly touched our lives and the lives of countless others.

Church and family were always central to Mom’s life. She graciously ‘entertained strangers’ (Hebrews 13:2) and was famous for her lemon pies. Atlanta Methodist and Atlanta Baptist Churches have provided Mom a Community of Faith throughout her life. Our family is most grateful for the care given Mom at the Autumn Leaves Nursing Home the final few months of her life.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints”. Psalm 116:15.

Funeral services will be at Atlanta Baptist Church on Friday, April 19 th at 10:00 a.m. and visitation will be at Southern Funeral Home on Thursday April 18 th from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Friends may express messages of condolence to the family online by visiting

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