Hattie Vance Smith, born May 19, 1930, was the sixth (of 7) child born to the late Thomas Vance and Evangelist Pauline Williams Vance. She departed this life on March 20, 2019.
Hattie joined and was baptized at King’s Chapel AME Church at an early age where she remained a faithful member. As a child, she sang on the Allen Stars Choir and the Junior Choir. She loved to sing soprano and as an adult, sang on the Senior Choir for many years. At one time, she served as Director of this choir. In 2016, Hattie was both honored and proud to be named Mother of the Church.
Hattie attended Anderson County Training School where she skipped first and fifth grades. She went on to attend and graduate from Allen University in 1950 with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in English. She also did master’s work at SC State and Penn State Universities. She began her teaching career in Westminster SC at Westminster High School as a science teacher and basketball coach. After two years, she married O.F. Smith and accepted a teaching position in Kingstree, SC. In 1965, she returned home to Pendleton as a teacher at Anderson County Head Start. In 1968, she began teaching at Riverside High School and then Pendleton Elementary in 1970 where she taught for the next twelve years. In 1982, after 30+ years in public education, Hattie retired.
After retirement, Hattie stayed active by tutoring for adult literacy programs and selling Word Book Encyclopedias. She served as an officer for the Women’s Home Aid Society, was a member of the Senior Citizens & Retired Club and served as a poll worker.
Hattie’s greatest pride and joy were her children and grandchildren. Her most important work was seeing to the education of her grandchildren. She provided after school teaching to all five of her grands. After school, she served them a hot meal and immediately following, they were expected to “get their lessons”. She always felt that children could not learn if they were hungry. She continued to further her youngest grands’ education until her health began to decline.
She was preceded in death by three sisters, Eloise Vance Battle, Lorraine Vance McCaskill and Fredda Vance Saunders; brother, Thomas Vance, Jr., one nephew, Charles Vance, Jr., and one niece, Erika Wheeler.
To cherish her memories, she leaves two sons, Terence Hassan (Pamela) and Fitzgerald Vance Smith (Natashya) of Pendleton SC; one sister, Pauline Vance Wheeler of Richmond, VA and one brother, Charles Vance, Sr., Maryland; five grandchildren, Anisah Hassan of Atlanta GA, Bakari Hassan of Westwood, CA, Kira Smith, Fort Stewart, GA, Nicole Smith and Thomas Smith of Pendleton SC. Nephews: James Thomas Battle (Geneva), Shelvie Wheeler, Jr., Harris Wheeler (Rhett), Pauron Wheeler (April), Carlton Vance; Nieces: Ella Jane Battle, Wilma Vance Capers, Lenora McInnis (Charles), Patricia Saunders, Valeria Sanders, Conchita Vance, and a host of relatives and friends.
Funeral services are 2 pm Sunday at King's Chapel AME Church and the body will be placed in the church at 1 pm where the family will receive friends from 1:15 pm until the hour of service. The body is at the funeral home and will be on view Saturday from 12 noon until 8 pm.
The family is at the home, 401 LaVista Place, Pendleton, SC.
In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made to Hospice of the Upstate, 1835 Rogers Road, Anderson, SC 29621.
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