Rosie Smith

Rosie Lee Smith

Thursday, July 4th, 1929 - Tuesday, October 20th, 2020
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Rosie Lee Smith, longtime Dover resident and beloved wife, mother and career professional, passed away peacefully, on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. Rosie Lee was born to Annie Lee Ross and James Hatcher on July 4, 1929, in Selma, Alabama. She was a witness to history during her years in Selma, which were at the heart of the civil rights struggle.

Henry and Rose were married on June 18, 1950, in Washington, DC, at the former Bolling Air Force Base. They recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

While stationed in Japan with her husband and family, Rosie was President of The Wives’ Club, played softball and tutored students in English. She worked for many years as a hiring manager at Woolco, in the now shuttered Blue Hen Mall; the first African American to serve in the role.

Rosie Lee touched many lives through her generous spirit, positive attitude and love for family. Several close friends called Rose their second mom. She loved to cook southern food and enjoyed puzzles, word games and working in her garden. She especially enjoyed sports, and her enthusiasm for Duke and Roll Tide Roll was unrivaled by any fan.

Rosie is survived by her husband, Henry, a retired Senior Master Sergeant and Tuskegee Airman; sons, Louis (and wife Connie Cline), Steven, Ronald (and wife Julia Felscher) and Calvin; sister, Dorothy (and husband Terrance Snead and family) of San Antonio, Texas; sister, Roberta (and husband William Dawson and family) of Los Angeles, California; nieces Rowena West and Rachel D. Watts of Alabama; cousin, Synetha Holyfeld; and many other loving family members.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to:
Disabled American Veterans
183 South Street, Camden, DE 19934
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Service Details

  • Service

    Monday, October 26th, 2020 | 1:00pm
    Monday, October 26th, 2020 1:00pm
    Bennie Smith Funeral Home (Dover)
    717 W. Division Street
    DOVER, DE 19904
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery (Bear)
    2465 Chesapeake City Road
    BEAR, DE 19701
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Interment will take place on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, at 10:00 a.m.


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Donna Lawson Miller

Posted at 07:35am
Mrs. Smith hired me for my first “real” job - working in the Red Grill in Woolco, in 1976. I had a prior commitment and couldn’t start right away, but she had no problem in holding the job for the few weeks until I was available. She was so kind and understanding and at the same time no nonsense. That’s just how she was. I am blessed to have had the chance to work with her and get to know her.
My thoughts and prayers are with her family in this sad time. I know that she will live on for you in many happy memories.
Donna Lawson Miller

Terri Syryla

Posted at 12:02pm
As a friend of Steven's "Smitty", I remember Mrs. Smith fondly from our time at Dover Air Force Base.

Condolences to the Smith Family,
Terri Mumpower Syryla

Terri Syryla

Posted at 12:01pm
As a friend of Steven "Smitty", I remember Mrs. Smith fondly from Dover Air Force Base. Condolences to the Smith family.

Terri Mumpower Syryla.

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