Loretta Jane Nelson Smith, 41, of Gosnell, died Aug. 13, 2005, in a car accident. She was born July 5, 1964, in Paragould, to Earl and Dena Nelson. She was raised around the Fontaine area until her marriage to Billy Overton of Half Moon. During this union one child, Casey Joann Overton, was born on Sept. 25, 1986. On Aug. 18, 1994, she married Danny Smith. She was a student at Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville studying to be a registered nurse. She had overcome many adversities in her life. Her father had a major heart attack at the time Loretta was in the eighth grade. She had to quit school to help take care of her brothers and sisters. She went back to school later in life and obtained her GED then worked at different places such as Milwaukee Tool, where she was a scheduler. She then worked in the lab at Huntco Steel, and as a lab technician for doctors Smith, Williams, and Dye. Even though she had no high school math, science, or English skills, she decided to reach for her dream of becoming a registered nurse at the age of 40. She was a 14-year member of ESA Sorority. She spent endless hours working to help the kids of St. Jude.
She is survived by her husband, Danny L. Smith of the home; three daughters, Mandy Michelle Miller and her husband Shannon, Mindy Dawn Simpson and her husband Scott, all of Blytheville, and Casey Joann Overton of the home; her parents, Earl and Dena Nelson of Walnut Ridge; three brothers, Jimmy Nelson of Mountain View, Randy Nelson and Mike Nelson, both of Walnut Ridge; two sisters, Tammy Weaver of Bono and LaDawn Ballentine of Smithville; three grandchildren, Seth Simpson, Briley Miller, and Lillian Miler; four nephews and four nieces.
The funeral was held at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Cobb Funeral Home Chapel in Blytheville with Rev. Danny Smith officiating. Burial was in the Laredo Cemetery in Fontaine.
The family requests anyone wishing to leave a lasting memorial consider a scholarship fund set up at Farmers Bank in Blytheville which will go to a second-year nursing student in memory of Loretta Smith.