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Official Obituary of

Ellen (Woodruff) Smith

November 9, 1929 ~ February 12, 2024 (age 94) 94 Years Old

Ellen Smith Obituary

Mary "Ellen" Woodruff Smith passed away on February 12, 2024 at The Landings of Chestnut Grove in Sparta. She was born on November 9, 1929, in Stratford, NC and moved to Laurel Springs when she was 6 years old. She was preceded in death by her parents, Wilmer Cloyd Woodruff and Flossie Miller Woodruff, her husband, Charles Paul Smith, and three brothers, Guy Miller Woodruff, William Everett Woodruff, and John Franklin Woodruff.
She is survived by dear family friend, Paul S. Bryan Jr., of Sparta, NC, sister-in-law, Rita Myers Woodruff of Sparta, her nieces and nephews - Kim Woodruff Beck (Michael) of Wilmington, NC, Leslie Woodruff Hales (Barry) of Wilmington, NC, Lisa Woodruff Casey (Andrew) of North Wilkesboro, NC, Guy Miller Woodruff, Jr. (Kim) of Winston-Salem, NC, Jay Jackson Woodruff (Brett Liverman) of Sparta, NC, and cousin, Susan Lewis of Atlanta, GA. Grand-nephews, grand-nieces, and cousins also survive.
Ellen grew up on a farm in Alleghany County and saw the Blue Ridge Parkway come through. She worked as a waitress with her long-time friend and cousin, Kathryn Joines, at the Bluffs Coffee Shop from the day it opened in 1949 until 2009. It is said that in that 60-year span she walked over 10,000 miles. For patrons who were familiar with Mel's Diner, she would occasionally call out a "Kiss my grits!" for them.
Even though Ellen had no children of her own, she was a mother-figure and mentor to many. She had an infectious laugh and was loved by all. Ellen was a good driver and knew how to manage the mountain curves in her Camaro. Ellen was a great cook. Her specialties were the tallest prettiest pound cake that you ever saw and coconut pies with a meringue worthy of a cooking show.
The family would like to mention and thank her care partners: Paul Bryan, Angel, Becky, Cheryl, Cindy, Carol, Judy, Beckey, and the staff at The Landings of Chestnut Grove.
A graveside service and celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Donations to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation may be made in lieu of flowers.
Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
717 S. Marshall St., Suite 105B
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Thomas Family Funeral Service is honored to be serving the Smith Family. If you wish, online tributes may be extended to the family at

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Services to be held at a later date


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