Edited By Jo Ann Holt
A memorial service for Coach Sharon Smith, 77, who passed away peacefully on Dec. 29 after a well-lived and impactful life, is at 2 p.m. Jan. 4 at First United Methodist Church. Coach Smith was a longtime teacher and coach at Reed Junior High School in her hometown of Duncanville. Prior to the service, her family will receive friends at a reception from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Aldersgate Fellowship Hall at the church building.
Coach Smith was born on Nov. 13, 1944, to Van Q. and Ethel Rowe Smith in Dallas. She graduated from Duncanville HS in 1962, going on to play basketball at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas. Her first job as a teacher and coach was for Stephenville Junior High, starting a 36-year career in junior high teaching and coaching. She spent 31 of those years in the gym at Reed Junior High, where she had a lasting influence on many students who followed in her footsteps, playing basketball through high school and college.
Following Coach Smith’s Path
Several of her students, such as Marla McBurnett and Renee Rogers, went on to play basketball at Duncanville HS for another legendary Coach, Sandra Meadows. Both young women also played basketball through college, and both became coaches for Duncanville middle schools—Marla at Byrd and Renee at Reed.
Coach Smith received the first ever Fellowship of Christian Athletes Sponsors Award that was subsequently named for her. At one point, she was sued for praying in school, and she was proud of it.
Coach Smith loved her kids so much she was an anonymous donor at First National Bank for a standing $100 loan for anyone who was in need, even though she never had $100 herself. In retirement, Coach spent her time socializing with her fellow retired teachers, organizing her DHS alumni friends, watching Morgan and Maddy (McBurnett) grow up, sending out cards in the thousands, honking at garage doors for everyone to come out and entertain her, talking on the phone until the wee hours of the morning, coaching the Mavericks and Cowboys from her living room, drinking her Diet Dr Pepper, being a member of her beloved Progressors Sunday School class, and stressing over her 500+ Christmas cards starting every August.
Coach was predeceased by her parents, her sister Gladys, all aunts and uncles, many cousins and beloved friends. She is survived by David and Marla McBurnett and their daughters, Morgan and Maddy; Denyce and Randall Inmon; Van and Pat Smith; Vance and Tina Lloyd; Clint and Dena Lloyd; Joy Lloyd; Summer and Austin Marshall; Josh Smith and Vanessa and Jonathan; Lauren and Mack Martin; and a multitude of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Jaynes Funeral Home in Duncanville is handling the service for Coach Smith. Burial will follow the service at Wheatland Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes or First United Methodist Church.
Due to increased concern for spreading COVID, the church and the family request everyone in attendance to please wear a mask or face covering. For those unable to do so, or concerned about exposure, the service will be livestreamed.