Arlene Strickland Smith

May 28, 1951 - January 21, 2024

Arlene Strickland Smith, 72, passed away on January 21, 2024, in Martinsville, VA. She grew up in Martinsville and was a 1969 graduate of Martinsville High School, attended Patrick Henry College, and was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church. Arlene met her husband James Lee Smith around 1971 when he pursued her in his yellow 1968 Corvette after first spotting her at the Dixie Pig restaurant. They dated for a long time, which everyone liked to joke about, before getting married in 1981. They were an inseparable pair and rarely spent a day apart. They cherished family beach trips, watching and supporting Amy run races, and all the beautiful things in life. Whether it was dancing and singing along to great music or admiring a blooming flower, a sunset's glow, or the laughter of loved ones, Arlene found and appreciated beauty in every moment.

Arlene was a dedicated employee at American Furniture for 20+ years. Later, she worked at Piedmont Community Services and Kings Grant, all while ensuring her daughter made it to practices and completed her homework.

Arlene leaves behind a legacy of kindness, compassion, and an unwavering commitment to her family. She would not want you to mourn, but rather celebrate nature’s beauty and maybe sing or dance a bit. May her spirit continue to inspire us to find joy in simple pleasures and to cherish moments that make life joyous.

Arlene is survived by her loving husband, James Lee Smith; daughter, Amy Smith Tarbox (Travis); sister, Janet Jones; sister-in-law, Helen Carter (Terry), and brother-in-law, Sherman Campbell. Arlene’s nieces and nephews, Sharon Campbell Grim (Brian), Wesley Campbell (Terry), Kameron Carter (Sara), Blake Carter (Sheridan), Haley Carter (Corey), Tonya Jones (Michael), and Rhonda Jones (Brett). She is preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Jane Strickland, sister, Beverley Campbell, and brother-in-law, Wayne Jones.

A celebration of life will be held at 11:00 on Saturday, January 27, 2024 at Norris Funeral Services in Martinsville. If attending, she would want you to wear anything that makes you happy and keeps you warm.

Arlene loved animals; in lieu of flowers, consider donating to your local SPCA or charity of your choice.

Norris Funeral Services, Inc. and Crematory, Martinsville, VA is serving the Smith family.