Vivian Louise <I>Bridgeforth</I> Smith

Vivian Louise Bridgeforth Smith

Birth
Tanner, Limestone County, Alabama, USA
Death 12 Oct 2017 (aged 101)
Decatur, Morgan County, Alabama, USA
Burial Tanner, Limestone County, Alabama, USA
Memorial ID 184636681 · View Source
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Vivian Louise (Bridgeforth) Smith was born on May 19, 1916, in Limestone County in the home of her grandparents, George and Jennie Bridgeforth. The daughter of Bascom and Rassie (Townsend) Bridgeforth, she was born in the family home which was located on the Tennessee River in Tanner, Alabama, in the area called Beulah Land.

Her grandparents, George and Jennie, were born into slavery and became prosperous landowners and farmers. They are the beginning of the Limestone County Bridgeforth lineage.

Vivian was the 4th child born to Rassie and Bascom Bridgeforth. She was 1 of 6 children. She outlived them all. She was very, very close to her parents and was devastated at their deaths: Rassie in 1963 and Bascom in 1974. Recently when asked “What did you think of your mother?” she responded, “Oh Mama was everything.”

She lived much of her life in Alabama and never wanted to leave although she did for 29 years when her husband, Ural Smith, Sr., found work in Indianapolis. There they lived and raised their children, Ural Jr. and Shirley.

During the time they lived in Indianapolis, she made frequent trips to visit the farm and arranged for her children to spend summers there. She delighted in those summers—the family times spent with her brothers, Ember and William Frost who resided there, her sister, Bessie, who returned often from Cleveland with her family and most of all her parents.

Long mourning the loss of her brothers, Townsend and Price who had died years earlier, she made it her business to annually decorate their gravesites as well as those of her grandparents, located behind Lakeview United Methodist Church.

As retirement years approached, she was determined to move back to Alabama. In 1983, they built a home and settled on the land of her birth. She was overjoyed to move back to the area surrounded by her family where she could manage her property, plant fruit trees, garden, and prepare food for her children and their children, which she was avid about doing. Many a day she and Ural Sr. would sit in their chairs, breaking green beans and slicing apples and filling freezer bags to be ready when the children came.

She cared for Ural Smith, Sr. when his health declined in 1995 until his death in 2000.

Without a formal education, she negotiated the lease of the land she inherited from her father, bought adjoining acreage when it became available and made investments enabling them to pay cash for every home they purchased. Her first home is still located on Church Street in Decatur and they subsequently bought and sold two homes in Indianapolis and lastly built their retirement home in Beulah Land. That home was destroyed in the April 27, 2011, tornado. Living alone at the time at the age of 94, she was thrown from the house along with her favorite rocking chair which landed on top of her. She constantly praised the Lord for allowing her to survive. As was her way, she insisted on re-building to ensure that her descendants would have a home on the land formerly held by her grandparents.

Recently residing in Riverside Senior Living in Decatur, Alabama, she regaled the staff and residents with her many recollections —some true and some not quite so.

She is survived by her son, Ural (Lelia) Smith, Jr; daughter, Shirley (Jesse) Lynch; grandchildren, Melissa (Timothy) Turner, Judge Sheryl Lynch and Cory Lynch; great-grandchildren, Arianna Lynch, Cory Lynch, II, Alexis (Logan) DeWet, Atlantis Lynch, Aaron Turner, Joshua Turner and Zachary Turner.

Funeral service will be October 14, 2017 at the Lakeview United Methodist Church (9130 Lucas Ferry Road, Tanner, AL 35761) with Pastor Dennis Jones officiating and Pastor Willie Byrd as eulogist. Interment will be in Beulah Land Cemetery.


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  • Created by: Memory Treasurer
  • Added: 26 Oct 2017
  • Find a Grave Memorial 184636681
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Vivian Louise Bridgeforth Smith (19 May 1916–12 Oct 2017), Find a Grave Memorial no. 184636681, citing Lakeview United Methodist Church Cemetery, Tanner, Limestone County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Memory Treasurer (contributor 47624409) .