Clydia Wilbourn Smith Monroe



Clydia Wilbourn Smith Monroe went home to be with the Lord on May 11, 2023, at 102 years young. She was the fifth of six children born to the late Pete and Hattie Wilbourn, on December 8, 1920, in Magnolia, Arkansas. She attended schools in Columbia County, Arkansas; Bowie County, Texas; and Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1939, Clydia became the lovely bride of her teenage sweetheart, Lawrence Smith, Sr. (predeceased). They made their home in Ogden, Arkansas, becoming faithful and devoted members of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. She served as a Sunday School teacher, choir member, usher, and Baptist Youth Training Union Coordinator. To this union was born Dr. Paul Lawrence Jr., Louise, Edna Ruth (predeceased), Maxine, Vivian, Gregory (predeceased), and Sonja. In 1966, she married A. J. Monroe (predeceased), and to their union was born their son Darrell (whom she called her “Last Button”).

Upon moving to Little Rock, Clydia became a member of Longley Baptist Church under Pastor Dwight D. Townsend, who ministered her grandsons, Nicholas, Arnold Douglas, and Paul Lawrence III (“Trey”) in their Bible studies, with emphasis on the Ten Commandments. Under her guidance, her grandsons attended Sunday School and Church for over 18 years, until the COVID-19 pandemic halted her attendance.

Clydia loved praising the Lord, reading the Bible, and watching TV shows such as Walker, Texas Ranger, The Price Is Right, Family Feud, and Let’s Make a Deal. She enjoyed telling vivid stories like “being an old maid” before she married at 19, running a juke joint where she and her kids served milkshakes and burgers, and raising multiple sets of her twin grandchildren. Known for being witty, generous, loving and kind, she was always ready to share her deep belly laughs, hugs and kisses with her family and friends. She was a fount of wisdom and encouragement to all who knew her.
Clydia’s siblings, Elma (Eli) Gooch, Velma (Kelly) Williams, Ira Wilbourn, Letha (Veodis) Scott, and Charlie Wilbourn, preceded her in death. She leaves to cherish her memory six children; two daughters-in-law, Hazel (Paul) and Nicole (Darrell); one former son-in-law (Robert Dukes); eleven grandchildren, Yvette (Daryl), Stephanie, Aetna Ruth, Siobhan (Johnny), Jeremiah (Shanisha), Joshua (Giovanni), Nick, Doug, Trey, Alex, and Aiden (“A.J.”); fourteen great-grandchildren; and nephew John Dell (Adelyn) Hill.

She was a devoted aunt to all her nieces and nephews: Beanetha Scott Johnson, Barbara (Thomas) Hawkins, Evelyn Scott, Linda (Marcus) Walls, Joyce (Maurice) Williams, Tim (Glenda) Williams, Bob (Veda) Williams, Theodore (Mable) Williams, Shirley (James, predeceased) Williams, Flora Penn, and their children. Cousin Marcus Hooks and the entire Hooks family made numerous visits to laugh, talk, reminisce, and be thankful for family.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

– Matthew 5:4

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