Cover photo for Dr. Marian F. Smith's Obituary
Dr. Marian F. Smith Profile Photo
1942 Dr. Marian 2021

Dr. Marian F. Smith

January 17, 1942 — July 11, 2021

Marian Frances Williams was born to the late S.T. Williams and Ida Lou Williams (the fifth child of eight) in Cuthbert (Randolph County), Georgia in 1942. She matriculated through the Randolph County School System, graduating in 1960 as Valedictorian. She attended Fort Valley State College from 1960 – 1964, where she majored in mathematics. While in college she was a varsity cheerleader; was on the track team; participated in several academic organizations; and in 1961 she pledged and became a member of the Alpha Beta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She began her professional career, in 1964, with the Griffin-Spalding School System, in Griffin, Georgia, at the segregated Fairmont High School. When desegregation was finally forced upon the State of Georgia in 1970, she merged into Griffin High School, where she would remain until 1977, having chaired the math department for numerous years and was awarded the Georgia Sixth Congressional District’s “1977 Star Teacher” (the first black person to receive that honor) after coaching the “Star Student” to a perfect score on the math portion of the SAT. She also earned a M.Ed in Mathematics Education from the University of Georgia during this time. From 1978-1991 she worked at her alma mater, Fort Valley State College, where she served as assistant professor of mathematics; coordinator of developmental mathematics; advisor for various organizations; volunteered extensively in the community and presented both nationally and internationally in her field. She also earned her doctorate in mathematics from Georgia State University in 1989. Reflections of Life In 1991, Dr. Smith began her career at Florida A&M University (FAMU) At FAMU, she served as an associate professor of mathematics; chair of the elementary education department; assistant dean of administrative services within the college of education; professor of mathematics education; on SACS committees; on the Title IX Gender Equity Committee; on the College of Education Apple Pinning Ceremony Committee; NCATE Elementary Education Curriculum committee member; NCATE Standard Six Committee Chair; and several other committees throughout the University. She was also recognized as the “1995 Teacher of the Year” and “1997 FAMU Advanced Teacher of the Year”. She retired from FAMU in 2012. She holds memberships in a plethora of professional and academic association memberships – National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Florida Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society, Pi Lambda Theta International Honor Society; Phi Delta Kappa Professional Fraternity, Leon County Readiness Coalition and the Benjamin Banneker Association to name a few. A Life Member of the NAACP, The Urban League and she is a Life/Golden Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is a member of the Bethel AME Church in Tallahassee. Dr. Smith has the honor of being a member of the Fort Valley State University Hall of Fame and is a life member of their National Alumni Association and also a member of the FAMU College of Education’s “Gallery of Distinction”. Marian is the proud mother of Bryan Smith; mother-in-law of Dr. Jasmine C. Smith and grandmother of Justin Robert Smith and Jillian Camille Smith. She was preceded in death by her parents, S.T. Williams and Ida Lou Williams, two sisters, Janie Williams and Mildred Harris, and one special brother-in-law, Robert A Hopps. She is survived by: three sisters, Bettye Wilson (Frank Wilson), Valdosta, GA, Minnie Lewis, Cuthbert, GA, Samuel Williams (Juanita), Montezuma, GA, Wesley, Williams (Julia), Cuthbert, GA, and Naomi Hopps, Savannah, GA; a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Louise Smith and Walter Smith; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends; one very special sister/cousin, Pearl Thomas; one god-son, Torin McKellar, and two Sister-Friends, Lois McKellar and Gracy Barksdale.
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, July 19, 2021

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Virgil Chapel Baptist Church

27 North Street, Cuthbert, GA 39840

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