|Zoe Edney McDuff was born December 3, 1893, near Chase, Louisiana; the sixth daughter of Ella Jane Denson and and Daniel W. McDuff, native Mississippians. She was a member of the first class to be graduated from Mississippi Normal College,, now the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in 1916; and was invited to attend the 1966 commencement exercises at that institution as an honored guest to receive her Golden Diploma.
Claude Karlos Smith and Zoe Edney McDuff were married June 13, 1919, in the Capital Street Methodist parsonage in Jackson, Mississippi.
Two children were born to them: Jane Elizabeth, now Mrs. James P. Coleman of Magnolia Springs, Alabama, and Claude K., Jr., who resides in West Monroe where he practices medicine in the Twin Cities. At the time of Mrs. Smith’s death she had six grandchildren and six great-grandchildnren.
Beginning at an assistant pastorate in Ruston, Zoe and C. K. Smith went on to serve charges in Pineville, Crowley, Tallulah, West Monroe, Shreveport, Franklin and Mansfield. Mrs. Smith was active in the Carrollton Avenue Methodist Church in New Orleans during the year her husband served Noel Memorial Mercy Home.
Zoe Smith tried to follow the admonition of John Wesley, although she was a devout Baptist before her husband entered the Methodist Church, and her life was spent striving for perfection.
A Presiding Elder once remarked that she was the perfect parsonage wife; she made no demands upon parsonage committees, never tried to run the church, did not complain about the appointments her husband received, sublimated her wishes to those of the Church and her husband, and gave of herself, her time and her talents to the work of the Kingdom. She entertained Bishops, District Superintendents, and, during the Depression, hitchhiking families her husband often brought home with equally graceful hospitality. Her children were brought up to respect the church, the parsonage and the furnishings, and were made to feel that they were the most fortunate of children to have a father who was a clergyman.
Shortly before Christmas in 1973 she suffered a second heart attack and on Christmas Day was transferred to the Intensive Care Cardiac Unit of Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, Florida, where she died on January 8, 1974.
Funeral services were held from the Foley, Alabama, United Methodist Church and interment was in the Pine Rest Cemetery near Magnolia Springs, Alabama, where Mrs. Smith had lived since 1949.
Zoe McDuff Smith’s great influence for good was felt in every area of life she touched; she was a cheerful and efficient servant of God who enjoyed doing the work of the Methodist Church. Her faith was exemplary. She fought the good fight, she finished the course; and surely went from this life to receive the crown of righteousness.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1974; p. 157 By Jane Smith Coleman|