Cheryl Paulette Smith was the younger of two daughters of Minnie Ruth Carter Smith and Bennie R. Smith. She was born on January 10, 1950 in Cartersville (Bartow County) Georgia. She lived all of her adult life in Atlanta, Georgia and in His perfect wisdom, Cheryl moved to her heavenly home on September 9, 2013.
Celebration of life services will be held Monday, September 16, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. Zion Hill Baptist Church, 6175 Campbellton Road SW, Atlanta, Georgia 30331, Rev. Dr. Aaron L. Parker, officiating. The body will lie in state one hour prior to the service. Family visitation will be Sunday, September 15, 2013 - 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Mack Eppinger and Sons Funeral Home, 210 N. Bartow Street, Cartersville, Georgia. Interment will be Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at the Rowland Springs Cemetery in Cartersville, Georgia.
Cheryl’s life exemplified commitment to the teachings of Jesus Christ. She was baptized and united with the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Cassville, Georgia during her youth. In recent years she united with and has been a faithful member of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Cheryl attained a great understanding of the Bible, and no matter what the circumstance, she had words of encouragement for those in need.
Cheryl received her early education at the Summer Hill Schools in Cartersville, Georgia. At an early age, she exhibited academic abilities beyond her years which, in 1965, led to her being chosen for the Samuel H. Johnson-Summer Study Skills Program in Knoxville, Tennessee.
She attended preparatory school, during her high school sophomore and junior years, at North Haven High School in North Haven, Connecticut. She returned home for her senior year and graduated in 1968, with highest honors, from Cartersville High School in Cartersville, Georgia.
Following high school she attended Duke University, where she earned both her undergraduate and her juris doctorate degrees.
Cheryl advanced the struggle for human equality as a Senior Trial Attorney with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In the course of her work, she prosecuted employment discrimination cases in the public interest on the bases of race, sex, national origin, religion, color, age and disability. Her legal career included work with the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation, publication of an article on employment discrimination laws, and numerous presentations on civil rights to various organizations throughout the southeast.
As a member of the State Bar of Georgia and some of its various sections, in 1994 she was elected to serve as Secretary-Treasurer of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar. In 1995, she advanced to the position of Vice-Chairperson, and served as Section Chairperson for a one-year term.
Cheryl was affiliated with and served in numerous capacities in several organizations, including:
the Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Foundation, located in Cassville, Georgia, of which she was currently serving as the Board Chairman; the Samuel H. Johnson Summer Study Skills Program (SSSP) Foundation Inc. of which she was currently serving as corresponding secretary; member of the Atlanta Chapter of Charms, Inc., a cultural, and social organization of women dedicated to service that improves the quality of life for all. As a member, she has held numerous positions on the local, regional, and national level, including that of National President; member of the Gate City Bar Association; American Business Women’s Association (ABWB); Brownie Scout Leader; and the Red Hatter’s Society.
Cheryl truly loved life and delighted in using her creative genius, travel, attending theatrical productions and symphonic concerts, and enjoying a meal at a fine restaurant. Her many travels included trips throughout the continental United States and including Hawaii; South America; Nova Scotia; and China.
Cheryl possessed a lovable, kind, and sweet spirit and she went out of her way to help others.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in her name may be made to the Noble Hill-Wheeler Memorial Foundation, POB 67—2361 Joe Frank Harris Parkway – Cartersville, Georgia 30120 or the Samuel H. Johnson Summer Study Skills Program (SSSP) Foundation Inc. – P O Box 372750 – Decatur, Georgia 30037-2750.
Her memory will long be cherished by her sister and brother-in-law, Faye and Donald Jones, of Atlanta, Georgia; cousin/brother, Daniel Wheeler (Clovia), of Birmingham, Alabama; niece, Alisha Wheeler, of Covington, Georgia; nephew, Derrick Wheeler of Durham, North Carolina and a host of other relatives and friends.
Cheryl was preceded in death by her father, Bennie R. Smith, in 1976 and her mother, Minnie Ruth Carter Smith, in 2011.
Condolences may be expressed at: www.mackeppingerfuneralhome.com
Mack Eppinger and Sons Funeral Services, Inc. are in charge of the arrangements.