Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Mary Lou Smith, age 80

Mary Lou Smith, age 80, of Little Rock, Arkansas passed away on July 2, 2024. She was born in Hastings, Michigan on September 1, 1943 to parents Charles Smith and Katherine (Moore) Smith who preceded her in death. Mary is also preceded in death by her husband John O’Meara and her sister Charlotte Elizabeth Smith.

Mary is survived by her daughter Rachael Linh Smith; grandson Colin P. Winemiller; nieces Amy, Anne, Rebecca, and Adrienne; nephew Robin; her dear lifelong friend Binh; and her wonderful Care Giver Andrew Ngundue.

Mary spent her life serving others. From joining the Red Cross and volunteering for Viet Nam to helping deployed soldiers and adopting Rachael Linh, an orphan whom she found in Viet Nam; to helping raise her nieces and nephew; taking in her niece for high school; caring for her husband, John, when he was dying of cancer; working blood drives for years; assisting foreign students when attending UALR; helping her nephew when he had cancer; to helping homeless persons and foreign Refugees. When her dear friend, the author Charles Portis, was in Hospice for years, she visited him every week; even when he  no longer recognized  who she  was. Her compassion, warm sense of humor and giving nature touched many lives. She always had a special place in her heart for soldiers and veterans, sharing their dark sense of humor and a unique understanding of the challenges they faced. In the early 1990’s, she ran a tourism program to arrange for veterans to return to Viet Nam for closure. She will be sorely missed, but fondly remembered by many.

She was lovingly cared for in the last 18 months of her life by Mr. Andrew Ngundue of Cameroon, who tended to her at great personal sacrifice, and her nephew Mr. Robin Parsons of Georgetown, TX. May her memory be eternal.

Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400. Online guestbook available at

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A Natural State Funeral Service & Crematory