Nela Bell (Grady) Smith was the fifth of seven children born to the late Wilson Grady and late Issie (Smith) Grady. She entered this world on January 19, 1922 in Tennille (Washington County), Georgia. In the passing of her mother at an early age, Nela and her siblings were raised by their stepmother Sylvia Grady. The Grady family had strong educational values. She received her education from Georgia Public Schools in Washington County, GA.
Nela married Benjamin Adams, Sr. in 1941. To this union six children were born: Lillie Pearl, Benjamin Jr., David, Bernice, Margaret and Morris. In 1952, Nela and her children moved to Boston for a better life. In June of 1974, Nela married Joseph L. Smith. She so loved being a mother, grandmother and nurturer to many, she became a foster mother through ABCD Foster Care Services over the course of twenty-five years.
Nela was first baptized at the age of thirteen at Ohoopee Church in Tennille, GA. Her family attend Dixson Grove Church of God in Christ (COGIC) were she remained a faithful member until her move to Boston. Upon arrival, she attended her uncle's church located in the South End of Boston, under the leadership of the late Reverend Morris Grady. She later joined Regent Street COGIC under the leadership of the late Bishop Louis Caesar Young, were she remained a faithful member for over 50 years. Nela was very active in the church, she was a member of the Gospel Chorus Senior Choir and the Missionary Board. To continue her spiritually growth, in 2002 she joined Bethel Baptist Church in Roxbury, MA under the leadership of Reverend Franklin Murray, Sr., where she remained a member until her passing.
Missionary Smith was known for her unwavering faith in the Lord and her unconditional love for her family. She loved to cook and bake cakes and was known to bake the best old fashion pound cakes from scratch. Truly a past time, Nela would talk hours on the phone with many who listened. She loved visiting her childhood home in Tennille, GA. Moreover, she enjoyed attending the Church of God in Christ annual conferences in Memphis, TN.
Nela will be going home to join her parents: Wilson, Issie and Sylvia Grady. Husband Joseph L. Smith. Three children: Benjamin Adams, Jr., David Adams, Sr. and Margaret Adams- Smith. Grandson Danny Adams, Great-grandson Edwin Phoenix and Great-granddaughter Artisa Brown. Three sisters: Bertha Thomas, Isabel Duncan and Martha Dyer. Two brothers: Robert and Wilson Grady.
Peacefully Nela was called to be with the Lord on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. She leaves to cherish her legacy three children: Lillie Pearl (Ards) Brown, Bernice Brooks both of Dorchester, MA and Morris Adams of Quincy, MA. Daughter in-law Maggie Adams of Mattapan, MA. 20 grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren, 51 great-great-grandchildren and one great-great-great granddaughter. One sister, Lillian Butler of Sandersville, GA. A host of nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, foster children and many special friends.
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