Deanna Sue Mullen Smith was born on October 27, 1948, in Batesville. She lost her battle with Alzheimer’s on April 9, 2020, while living at Avenir Memory Care in Little Rock.
Sue grew up in Smithville and graduated from Sloan-Hendrix High School in 1966. She earned her Foreign Language Bachelors degree from Arkansas State and a Master’s degree in Counseling from the University of Arkansas. The majority of her professional career was spent teaching French and World History at Piggott High School for over 30 years. Smith was known for her adventurous spirit, love of travel, and passion for politics. She didn’t just teach. She inspired the lives of many students. She was incredibly well-traveled having visited all 50 states and many other countries.
She was an active member of the Arkansas Education Association for many years, had served on the board, and was a state delegate to the National Education Association. Once retired, she became a member of the Retired Teachers Association and led as the Arkansas State President of the organization.
Her political affiliation was no secret. She was a lifelong Yellow Dog Democrat. She served her party on the Arkansas State Democratic Committee. One of her most proud achievements was volunteering with the Arkansas Travelers to assist in President Bill Clinton’s election. She even volunteered in the White House. She was a Founding Docent at the Clinton Library and most loved giving tours to high school students.
She was a member of the First United Methodist Church while living in Piggott and played the organ for services. She also often attended Smithville Methodist Church with her parents and played the piano for services there. She and husband J. Frank Smith retired to Batesville in 2002. She joined the PEO philanthropic organization and Athena Women’s Study Club as well as became a member of the Central United Methodist Church.
Sue was preceded in death by her parents Claude Durham Mullen and Geneva Deanne Hillhouse Mullen. She is survived by husband J. Frank Smith of Batesville, son Jason Smith and wife Kristi of Jonesboro, daughter Heather Smith and wife Sarah Ort of Little Rock and grandsons Hunter, Beau, Pierce, Eli, and Calvin.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to create the Sue Smith Memorial Scholarship of Piggott High School. Donations can be made online at https://www.gofundme.com/f/sue-smith-memorial-scholarship or mailed to Piggott State Bank, 212 W Cherry St, Piggott, AR 72454.