Beverly Jane Cannon Smithson, of Greensboro, NC passed away on June 16, 2013. She was born in Herrin, Illinois to the late Hershel Cannon and Iva Mae Cannon on October 9, 1940. Following the death of her mother when she was only 9, Beverly was reared by her sister and brother-in-law, June Cannon Boswick and Dr. John A. Boswick. She grew up in Oak Park, IL and graduated from Oak Park River Forest High School in 1958.
Beverly attended University of Illinois, where she was a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority. She graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in Education, and earned a Master's Degree in Education from UNC- Greensboro in 1978. She was a dedicated and gifted educator, and began her teaching career in Mt. Kisco, NY before taking a position with the Department of Defense Schools in Darmstadt, Germany. It was there that she met her beloved husband of 48 years, Robert Smithson. While living in Germany, she spent her free time traveling to many countries. These early adventures led to her love of traveling. Her most meaningful trip was in 1964 when she took a two-week trip to The Holy Land, The Middle East and Egypt. She and her husband Bob, continued to explore the world and shared many adventures traveling together throughout the US and Europe. By example and story-telling, they instilled a sense of the beauty of different cultures in their children and grandchildren.
Following her wedding to Bob in 1965, they lived in Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. Beverly continued to share her gifts as a teacher in many school districts, including Roanoke City Public Schools in Virginia and Guilford County Schools in Greensboro, NC during which time she worked with Title I programs and English as a Second Language programs. Her career as an educator cumulated in a role which she loved, teaching and motivating students enrolled in the Gifted Education program at Guilford Middle School and Wiley Elementary School.
Beverly was beautiful inside and out, was a child of God who always looked for the good in others. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She was strong in her faith and instilled that faith in her children and grandchildren and all that knew her. She was strong, yet gentle and the sincerity of her smile would light up a room and warm your heart. She made strangers feel like family and in the words of her grandson "I never heard her say a harsh word to anyone". Beverly had an intense and deep caring for humanity which was demonstrated through her volunteer work. Specifically she felt blessed in her time spent helping Vietnamese refugees integrate into the community, and the opportunity to assist families in rebuilding their homes in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. She was an active member of the Greensboro community and was dedicated to service at Christ United Methodist Church.
Those left to cherish her memory are her husband of 48 years, Robert Smithson and her two daughters; Tracy Smithson Mozingo and her husband Rich, and Karen Smithson Chang and her husband Stewart and the light of her life her four grandchildren, Lucas and Alex Mozingo and Carrie and Madeline Chang. She is also survived by six siblings; Mrs. June Cannon Boswick, Mr. Joseph Cannon, Mr. James Cannon, Mr. and Mrs. George Lawrence Cannon, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Cannon and Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Cannon, her Mother-in-law Carrie Will Smithson, Sister-in-law Mary White, her husband Jim White, 14 nieces, 10 nephews and many great-nieces and nephews.
A service in celebration of Beverly's life will be held 2:00 pm on Thursday June 20 at Christ United Methodist Church, 410 Holden Road, Greensboro, NC 27401 with the Reverends Mike Bailey and John Bletsch officiating. Family will receive friends in the Fellowship Hall of the church following the service.
In lieu of gifts or flowers – please send donations to Christ United Methodist Church Youth Programs, Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, or Caring Bridge.org.