Suanna Smith, PhD, 75, departed this life on Dec. 6, 2012, at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, Miss., following a fall at her home.

Dr. Smith was a long time resident of Gulfport, where she taught in the Gulfport School District, and eventually retired as professor of history at William Carey College on the coast.

She was born on Sept. 2, 1937, in El Dorado, and graduated high school from The Hockaday School in Dallas. She received her bachelor’s degree from Millsap’s College in Jackson, Miss., where she was a member of Chi Omega Sorority; her master’s degree at Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss., and her doctorate from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Her dissertation is catalogued in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

A lifelong Episcopalian, she was an extremely active member of the church, not only at the local and state levels, but nationally as well, having served as a delegate to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church.

Her state-wide offices included both service as secretary and later president of the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi, membership on the Management Committee of the Gray Center Camp and Conference Center, just north of Canton, Miss., trustee of All Saints Episcopal School in Vicksburg, Miss., president of the Episcopal Church Women, membership on the Allin House Renovation Committee and the Safe Church Committee.

Locally, she was a licensed Eucharistic minister at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Gulfport (the first woman so licensed at that church), former senior warden of St. Mark’s (also the first woman to serve in that capacity). She is a former president of the Episcopal Church Women of St. Mark’s and a frequent delegate from St. Mark’s to the General Council of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi.

Her parents were Morene Dumas Smith and Jennings “Doc” Smith, who predeceased her.

She is survived by her cousins, Pam O’Connell (Ed) of Cashiers, N.C., Robert Howard (Carin) of Palomar-Fall Brook, Calif., Tress Hess of Fairhope, Ala., Forrest T. Floyd (Tracey) of Magnolia Springs, Ala., John Peter Floyd of Fairhope, Katherine Floyd Duncan of Daphne, Ala., John Houston Floyd II, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., Virginia Ray Dumas Ellzey (Robert), of El Dorado, Mary Ellzey Davis (Milford) of Tyler, Texas, Elizabeth Ellzey Clark (Tom), and Richard Dumas Ellzey (Graeme), both of Little Rock.

Funeral was held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 11322 E. Taylor Road, Gulfport, at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 11, with visitation starting at 10:30 a.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations should be made to St. Mark’s Church, 11322 E. Taylor Road, Gulfport, MS 39503.

Published: 12/12/2012