Beloved English teacher Vickie Smith passes away Feb. 5

Posted February 08, 2011

Vickie Jan Smith, longtime and beloved English teacher at Abilene Christian University, passed away Feb. 5 after a brief battle with cancer.

Smith began teaching full time at ACU in 1995 after earning a bachelor's degree from Midwestern State in 1972 and a master's from ACU in 1992.  She was president of Friends of the ACU Library in 1999, after serving as acting president in 1998 following the death of Dr. Jim Mankin.

Smith was known among her students as a challenging but straightforward, dedicated and inspiring teacher and spiritual mentor who pushed her students to attain more than they expected of themselves.

She was born May 3, 1948, to James T. Smith and Vila Rae Sargent Smith. She attended Midwestern State University where she served as president of the Church of Christ Bible Chair student organization and participated in a summer-long mission trip with Project Germany ’69. 

After earning her bachelor’s degree, she worked in various management capacities with the JC Penney Company in Lubbock, Amarillo and Abilene for 16 years.  At age 40, she chose to change careers by earning a master’s degree from Abilene Christian University and becoming a full-time teacher in the English Department.

She was a member of Minda Street Church of Christ since 1987, embracing the multi-cultural fellowship at the church.

She is survived by her mother, Vi Porterfield of Uvalde, Texas; her aunt and uncle, Claude and Frances Thompson of Uvalde; her cousin, Greg Thompson of Pflugerville; her lifelong sister in Christ, Denise Emery; many nieces and nephews of her heart from Minda Street; and many loving brothers and sisters in Christ, especially at Minda Street.

A Song Service visitation, during which Smith's favorite hymns will be sung, will be conducted by the Minda Street Church of Christ chorus from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 9, at Elliott-Hamil Funeral Home, 542 Hickory Street.

Services, officiated by Minda Street Church of Christ minister Tony Roach, will be held at Hillcrest Church of Christ, 650 Ambler Avenue, on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011, beginning at 1 p.m. Internment will follow at Elliott-Hamil Garden of Memories Cemetery, 5701 Hwy 277 South.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Minda Street Church of Christ building fund at 701 Minda Street, Abilene, TX  79602 or to Hendrick Hospice Care at P.O. Box 1922, Abilene, TX  79604.