Maxine Jarrett Waite Smith, 91, transitioned from this life, peacefully, at her home on January 8, 2021.
Born on August 3, 1929, in Chattanooga, Maxine Smith had deep roots in the community. She attended public schools in Chattanooga, attended Chattanooga State Technical Community College, and retired from the Chattanooga Public Schools system after working more than 30 years as a clerical aide in the Instructional Media Center. She was also a long-standing member of Second Missionary Baptist church in Chattanooga.
Maxine was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who was the center of her loving family. Most importantly, she believed that the meaning of family extended beyond biological boundaries. This included long-time family friends such as Charles and Betty Jackson, of Etowah, Charles and Brenda Coger, Joanne Hilt, and Kevin Smith, all of Chattanooga.
She opened her heart and home to many more extended family because she was a kind person. She treasured the company of others and loved lively conversation.
During quiet times she loved to sit in front of the living room window surrounded by a pile of newspapers and watch her hummingbirds. Reading through newspapers each day kept her informed and ready to discuss current events. Moreover, she loved to share what she read with others. She avidly collected cookbooks and recipes. When a particular recipe appealed to her palette she would say “ummm, that looks good!” Additionally, she loved blues music, spirituals, and flowers. She enjoyed watching classic westerns like GunSmoke and The Big Valley on television.
Maxine was the family stalwart. She loved to help everyone. She counseled and advised anyone when needed. No problem was too tough for her. She exhibited the rare combination of grit in the face of adversity, and grace when handling challenges, as defining characteristics. Her frequent advice to loved ones was that “God never gives you more than you can bear.” This statement was a testament to her indomitable spirit and deep faith.
Maxine was preceded in death by her mother, Annie Mathes Jarrett; one sibling, Ennis Mathes, of Georgia; two infant children, Ennis and Diane; two husbands, Morris W. Waite and Elisher L. Smith; two grandchildren, Sharmone Waite and LaToya Waite; and a daughter-in-law, Shirley Waite.
Sadly, her third son, Maurice (Lorene) Waite, passed away on Jan. 10, two days after her transition.
She is now survived and lovingly remembered by six children, Anthony (Doris) Waite, Donna Keith, Lansing Waite, Lori Waite, Mara-Lynne (Paul) Payne, and Dana (Janice) Waite, of Randallstown, Maryland; sixteen grandchildren; several great grandchildren; great-great grandchildren; many other family members and friends.
Public visitation will be held at 9 a.m. until noon on Sunday, Jan. 17, at the funeral home, followed by a 1 p.m. homegoing service in the chapel.
Interment will be on Monday, Jan. 18, at Lakewood Memory Gardens-East.
Arrangements are by John P. Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Ave., 423 622-9995.