Nancy began her earthly journey on June 3, 1952 in Holly Springs, Mississippi to the late Calvin & Magnolia Howell. She accepted Christ at an early age and has been a faithful member at Providence Baptist Church for over fifty years.
Nancy’s love for singing gospel music began at the tender age of 5, up front leading or alongside her older siblings. Her praise, worship and testimonies were mostly through song her entire life. Nancy was one of the lead soloist & vocalist in the citywide ‘Traveling Crusaders’ back in the day, singing her unique rendition of ‘Oh Mary, Don’t You Weep’ among other songs. She was also a lead vocalist/soloist here at Providence and with several other groups until her failing health. Her love for attending church to hear good preaching and singing continued even during her illness.
Nancy loved to cook (specialties: dressing, fried corn, & lemon meringue pie), to shop for bargains, play cards, listen to good music, style hair, make flower and hat arrangements. Leopard, leopard, leopard!!, was her FAVORITE; from clothing to décor’ as well as sharing with others. She liked going to the casino and decorating. She especially loved spending time with her close knit family, particularly on the road trips down-South, back home to Mississippi.
Nancy was a realist. You always knew where she stood and where you stood in her presence (if you didn’t, she would be sure to let you know without delay).
Through the years, Nancy was employed by International Harvester, Dana Corporation, Tokheim, Fort Wayne Pools, Fort Wayne State Developmental Services (State School) and in later years she worked as a home health aide.
She had a heart for special needs individuals. Nancy enjoyed volunteering her time serving others; at the mission, donating and helping deliver food and/or clothing to various shelters and those in need. She was a devoted mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend; serving as a second mom to all of her nieces and nephews.
Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, the late Rev & Mrs. Calvin/Magnolia Howell, Sr., brother, Calvin “Brotha’” Howell, Jr.; sister in law, Jean Howell; grandmothers: Grandma-Pearl Howell and “Mama-Nancy” Jones-Hill (namesake), and great-nephew Dominik Files.
Nancy leaves to cherish her memories, her children: Katrina Smiley, Sabrina Smiley, and Walter (Teresa) Smiley, Jr; sisters: Maxine Files and Ernestine (Clark) Hamilton; grandchildren: Cameron (CJ), DeAndre, Joshua, Germard, Kamiza, GerMarcus, DeMarion, Jamila, Liz & Emery; great-grandson DeAndre Jr; step-children: Shirley Jones and Jeremy Church; Special Niece: Tamara Files: her godchildren, Beverly, Lamisha (Pooh), Lisa, and Jerry.
Her nieces & nephews: Stacy, Damon, Kim, RC, Tiffany, Tammy, Chris, Nicky, JR, JaMal, & Rameo and a host of other relatives & friends.
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