ONEONTA – Neomia Smith (Lemon) was born in 1933 to Viola (Boyd) and Norman Lemon in Dorchester County, S.C. Neomia was the oldest of eight siblings. She learned at the early age of 12 to cook for her entire family and also helped alongside her siblings to tend the family gardens. Cooking and gardening would end up being her most cherished pastimes during her lifetime.
Neomia had three children from two marriages, Olretha Fleming (Roberts), Clement Roberts (predeceased 2001) and Christopher Smith.
Neomia was an avid reader of various genres, enjoyed berry picking, canning, as well as had a love and a natural talent for cultivating all things that grow on the land as well as caring for the animals and birds that shared it.
Wherever she lived there were always beautiful gardens to enjoy and explore. Her other passion was creating delicious and memorable meals for her family and friends to enjoy. Thanksgiving and Christmas meals were not to be missed at the Smith home and now are to be remembered with smiles and gratitude.
Neomia had spent the early part of her life in the healthcare profession. During 1967-1974 she was employed as an Obstetrics Nurse Technician in NYC hospitals. After arriving in Oneonta in 1974 she was employed as a Nurses Aide at AO Fox Hospital until 1979. Neomia later held a position with Amphenol from 1979-2005 as an inspector. Her work ethic was always of the highest quality. Neomia was known as the person to go to for her knowledge, efficiency, hard work and no nonsense attitude until her retirement in 2005.
Her family and friends remember Neomia as a strong, independent, generous and caring person who always welcomed you with a smile and something sweet to eat. The family will always remember her hilarious turn of phrases that even now will start smiles to broaden and tears to come to our eyes. Neomia was the storyteller of the family. She enjoyed sharing tales of growing up with her 4 brothers & 4 sisters, the depression years, living in the South, moving to NY, raising and caring for her family. Life lessons she shared freely with us that taught us all how to be strong, self reliant, industrious and to love God, each other and ourselves.
She leaves behind her daughter Olretha and son in law Ray Fleming, Son, Christopher Smith, Grandchildren: Cassandra & Isaiah Fleming, Nathan Smith, Alexis and Olivia Smith and Great Granddaughter La’Rose Smith, Brother Ray and sister in law Laverne Lemon, Sisters: Alice Dickey, Daisy Stephen and Lillie Lemon, sister-in-laws: Mattie Lemon and Emma Lemon as well as numerous nephews and nieces, life long friends, great neighbors and not to be forgotten her constant furbaby companion, Katrina.
Neomia had been battling ovarian cancer for 10 years, but remained positive, strong and optimistic until the end. Neomia now goes home to her Father for her room has been made ready for the rest she so richly deserves. Sleep well Mom, Be at Peace Grandma, Journey onward Dear Sister, until we meet again my friend. We are grateful and blessed for the time you spent with us and have been made better by your presence. We will carry your memory within us each day with love and gratitude.
The family would like to say a special thank you to Drs: Carolyn & Chris Wolf-Gould and Dr Danielle Knight, for your compassion and the wonderful care you provided Neomia during her illness has been a blessing to us all. The nurses and staff at each of these offices always greeted “Mom” with smiles, warm hugs and a supportive countenance. Thank you to the beautiful, loving and knowledgeable staff of the Oneonta Hospice Organization. We are all deeply grateful & humbled by your service & commitment to the end of life quality you provided to “Mom” and the support you gave to us.
In lieu of flowers the family would ask that you make a donation to either the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA) @ PO Box 32141, New York, New York 10087-2141 or Catskill Area Hospice & Palliative Care @ 297 River Street Service Road, Oneonta NY 13820.
The family thanks everyone for your condolences and for reaching out to us during this time of bereavement.
Arrangements are with Bookhout Funeral Home, Oneonta.