Mary Jane Joyner Smith, 85, passed away on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, in Mocksville, N.C. She was born on May 22, 1938, in Davie County, N.C., to the late Gurney Monroe Joyner and Mary Renegar Joyner.
Mary Jane grew up in rural Iredell and Yadkin counties, and graduated from Mars Hill and Appalachian University, magna cum laude, with a degree in Music with an emphasis in voice and piano.
She was a lifelong attendant and member of Sandy Springs Baptist Church of Harmony, and served as the Choir Director for over 60 years. She had a beautiful voice and an incredible talent with the piano, but her true gift was her ability to help others find and use their talents.
Mary Jane taught in the public school system for well over 30 years as a music teacher, at points traveling around Iredell County to every single elementary school. She taught and touched the lives of thousands of students during her working career. Once she “retired” from teaching, she went back to substitute and assistant work within the same school system, and worked a great deal with the special needs class at East Iredell, with a special place in her heart for the autistic students.
Mary Jane was family oriented and enjoyed nothing more than time spent with her family and friends. She never missed an event, ballgame, or graduation for her children or grandchildren. She enjoyed reading and watching University of North Carolina ball games.
Mary Jane was in declining health over the past two years, with a more critical crisis over the last month. We wish to thank her many doctors, the Fresenius Kidney Care Group, the first floor staff at Iredell Memorial Hospital, and Hospice of Iredell County for her wonderful caregivers.
Mary Jane is survived by her husband, Garner R. Smith; her children, Kevin (Charlene) Smith and Michelle (Robert) Brake; her grandchildren, Caitlin (Akshay) Ahuja, Clinton Kevin Smith, and Robert Andrew “Drew” Brake; her great-grandchildren, Madeleine and Mackenzie Ahuja; her brother, Tommy (Shirley) Joyner; and special friends, Dot Wilkinson, Marilyn Renegar, Pam Livengood, and Dianne Anderson.
Visitation will be held on Friday, September 8, 2023, from 6 until 8 p.m. at Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at 11 a.m. at Sandy Springs Baptist Church. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.
The service will be live streamed on Facebook @Sandy Springs Church in Harmony NC-public page.
Memorials may be made to Sandy Springs Baptist Church Cemetery and/or Choir Fund, 2930 Sandy Springs Road, Harmony, NC 28634, or to the Autism on the Seas Foundation, 494 Bridgeport Avenue, Suite 101-346, Shelton, CT 06484-4762, or to the Hospice of Iredell County, 2347 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28625.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.bunchjohnsonfuneralhome.com for the Smith family.
Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home is serving the family.