SMATHERS, Sarah Olivia
May 17, 2014 12:00 AM | 3188 views | 1 1 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sarah “Olivia” Smathers, 93, of Kennesaw, Georgia, passed away May 15, 2014. Born in Athens, Georgia she was the daughter of Reverend James F. Burrell and Sarah Estelle Barnett Burrell. Mrs. Smathers was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 69 years, Kenneth M. Smathers and twelve siblings. She is survived by her three children and their spouses: Mary Helyn Hagin (Allen), Dr. Kenneth B. Smathers (Donna), James T. Smathers (Deborah); a sister, Geraldine Rutledge of Tifton, Georgia; Five Grandchildern: Julee Hagin Schmidt (Mark), Walter Hagin (Donna), Taylor Hagin (Caroline), Alesia Vann (Kent) and Ashley Smathers (Paul Richards); Fifteen Great Grandchildren: Lauren, Michael, Ben, Cole, Joseph, Mary Carson, Madelyn, Vinson, Chris, Alexx, Chloe, Sam, Cody, David, and Grace. “Miss Olivia” was first and foremost a wife and mother. Her greatest achievement after motherhood was the founding of the Little General Cloggers in 1972 to commemorate the return of the Civil War locomotive “The General” to Kennesaw. She and hundreds of children were Kennesaw’s Ambassadors throughout Georgia, the United States and many countries. The group performed for over forty years at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. She was recognized and honored by various institutions and organizations for her service to the community and mentoring of the young people. Special honors include: *Governors’ Award as Good Will Ambassadors for the state of Georgia (every Governor since1972) *National Clogging Hall of Fame* The Liberty Bell Award-Cobb County League of Women Voters and Bar Association *Cobb County Woman of the Year *Kennesaw Business Association Scholarship in her name *KBA Lifetime Achievement Award *Georgia Music Hall of Fame *Kennesaw State University Flourish Award for Outstanding People in the Performing Arts *First ever given Honorary High School diploma from Kennesaw Mountain High School *Lil’ General Clogging Lane (street named in her honor in Kennesaw) *The “Olivia Smathers performing Arts Room” at the Ben Robertson Center in Kennesaw *Many performances at the White House and on major television networks *PTA President at three schools: Kennesaw Elementary, North Cobb High School, and Sprayberry High School. A devout Christian and spiritual leader, she was a member of Kennesaw First Baptist Church where she taught Sunday School for over thirty years, was Training Union Director, organized GA’s and sang in the choir. She was an amazing woman, a “doer”, never too proud to ask of others, whether it was for money she needed for a child, helping someone find a job, etc.. She recognized the skills and knowledge of the people around her and would occasionally push to the limit but she was right there with them all the time – giving her best too. Her family would like to give their heartfelt thanks to all the staff nurses and aides at Ross Memorial Healthcare, Gentiva Hospice, Ross Spiritual Leader, Pastor Robert Ledbetter, Kennesaw First Baptist Church, Ed Dalton, Gertrude Flynn, Billy Bozeman Frey, Diana Dawson and Christine Cahill. Donations may be made to the Kennesaw First Baptist Building Fund; North Main Street, Kennesaw, Georgia 30144. Visitation will be Saturday, May 17 from 2-4 p.m. and from 6-8 p.m. at Winkenhofer Pine Ridge 2950 North Cobb Parkway, Kennesaw. A Celebration of her Life service will be at Kennesaw Baptist Church on Sunday, May 18 at 2 P.M. Interment will follow at Winkenhofer Pine Ridge with Dr. Perry Fowler officiations. (770)-422-7299.

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May 17, 2014
So sorry for your loss. A pillar of the community and a great Sunday School teacher.

Linda Belle Thompson Carter
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