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Smith recognized as ‘Everyday Hero’

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Family and friends from Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado and New Mexico came together Saturday to commemorate Ophelia Smith reaching 100 years of age. Several dozens of people gathered for the “wonderful, wonderful occasion” at the Chaves County JOY Center in Roswell, including the family shown here. Standing in the back, from left, are Jamee Higgins of Midland, Texas; Joina Janice of Round Rock, Texas; Monna Coleman of Round Rock; and Lavinya Coleman of Midland. Seated and standing next to Smith are Charlotte Williams, Kenzee Williams and Brandee Williams, all of Midland.
Smith, a former homemaker and nurse, has lived in the Roswell “on and off” for 30 years and raised two sons here. The first in her family to reach 100, she said she was having “mixed emotions” about the day, but was feeling good.
Smith received an Everyday Hero award from the Office of African American Affairs of the State of New Mexico. “We know that she has done a lot of work for the community in those 100 years,” said Outreach Coordinator Beverly Jordan. The city of Roswell also honored Smith with a proclamation declaring her birthday, Aug. 30, as “Ophelia Smith Day.” The proclamation praised her volunteerism, her years as a church usher and choir member, and her “infectious smile and snazzy dress ensembles.” (Lisa Dunlap Photo)