This website is dedicated to…
November 29, 1962 – July 5, 2013
Mary Kelton Smith was born on November 29, 1962. She was the youngest child born to Ineze C. Kelton of Franklin, Tennessee.
A graduate of Franklin High School, Mary received her Associates Degree in Nursing from Columbia State Community College and obtained her R.N. license in 1984. After receiving her training, Mary began her nursing career at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. While serving here she also was employed with Outlook Nashville, Progressive Home Health and the Fall-Hamilton School Health Center in Nashville. She continued to serve until her passing as a Registered Nurse in the Department of Human Nutrition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
She met James Wyatt Smith in 1990. They were united in matrimony in 1994, and are the proud parents of James Wyatt Smith II. Baptized in September 1999 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Mary was a faithful member, serving on the Health Committee. Mary put God first in her life and choosing God as her Great Physician, she empowered and inspired many. Faith in God continued to strengthen her during her spiritual walk and breast cancer journey.
In 2000, Mary heard the call from God to start Tennessee’s first affiliate chapter of Sisters Network, Incorporated, a national African-American breast cancer survivorship organization. She faithfully served as Sisters Network Nashville’s (SNN) first president until 2012.
Mary was active in many cancer organizations and committees, including: the American Cancer Society’s Health Initiative Action Team (HIAT) Program, the Tennessee Breast and Cervical Early Detection and Prevention Program (TBCCEDP), the Meharry Medical College East Nashville Breast Health Screening Committee, and the TEnnessee Comprehensive Cancer Coalition. Channeling her zeal for educating others about breast cancer, Mary championed many important SNN efforts like the Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Banquet, 2008-2009 Survivorship Calendar, Effective Service Through Health Education and Resources (ESTHER) Award, My Sisters Keeper Assistance Program, Gift for Life Block Walk and others. Under her leadership, SNN membership grew to well over 90 members.
For her commitment to serving others and eliminating the silence about breast cancer in African-American communities, Mary was recognized as the “TOP 40” people under 40 by the Tennessean, Outstanding Affiliate Chapter President by Sisters Network, Inc., by the Nashville Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, Inc., as a “Local Hero” from BMW of Nashville, and by Lifetime Television. With each honor, Mary became more committed to using her gifts and notoriety to make a difference in the lives of others affected by breast cancer.
On July 5, 2013 Mary passed from time into eternity and is now at eternal peace in the Lord’s arms.