Juanita Smith Hendrix passed away peacefully with her daughter reading to her and holding her hand along with her husband, David, on Friday evening, January 10, 2020. A celebration of life will be held on Friday, January 17, 2020 at 1 p.m. in the chapel at First Baptist Church, 1000 W. Friendly Avenue. A reception will be held after the service. Interment will follow the reception. Juanita was born in Easley, SC to the late William Edward Smith and Grace Ramey Smith on November 24, 1930, where she spent her early years. Juanita moved to Rockingham, NC and then to Lexington, NC with her mother, her father having preceded her in death. Juanita was preceded in death by her husband, Walter Worth Hendrix, Jr., her husband's parents, Walter Worth Hendrix, Sr. and Ruth Gay Hendrix and her husband's brother, Dr. William Gay Hendrix. She is survived by her daughter, Anna Victoria Hendrix Caton, son-in-law, David Allen Caton, her husband's parents, Dr. Randall and Mrs. Patricia Caton and numerous cousins and friends. Juanita was the first of 20 grandchildren to go to college and graduate. While not being the oldest, she was among the oldest who was always interested in doing well. Juanita graduated from the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina that later became the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a bachelor of science degree in primary education in 1953 and in 1960 received her master's degree in primary education. In the summer months, Juanita would go home to Lexington to work while in college. One of the summer jobs was working in a peach factory on the line where she peeled and deseeded peaches. It was hot and sticky. Another job was becoming a lifeguard, something she loved to do. One summer the pool was closed due to the outbreak of polio. During her college years, favorite memories were being serenaded by Sigma Phi Epsilon and going to Yum Yum's. Juanita's first position upon graduation was a first grade teacher at South Park School in Winston-Salem, NC in 1953 until moving to Greensboro, NC in 1957 with her husband, Walter Worth Hendrix, Jr. Juanita met Walter on a Christmas break at a dance while Walter was in the Army. While dancing the night away, he told her she was the softest thing. That made her blush and she thought that was the sweetest thing. Juanita and Walter wrote love letters to one another and later married on August 18, 1957 in Lexington, NC at First Baptist Church. They honeymooned in Havana, Cuba. They were married for 47 years. During their marriage, they enjoyed traveling together. After being married, Juanita taught at Sternberger Elementary School in Greensboro, NC from 1957-1971 until her retirement and the year her daughter was born. One of her daughter's fondest memories is how much her mom was recognized as people's first grade teacher and how they had warm memories of her. Once her daughter said, "Mom, you taught everyone in Greensboro!" That brought a smile to Mom's face as she loved all of her students. Juanita was grateful for her life, the gift of life, everything that happened in her life and all the people that entered her life. She loved the arts, music, gardening, working in the yard and reading. She would stay up until the wee hours of the night reading the latest book from the Greensboro Public Library. She enjoyed walking around her yard telling stories about her plants' origin, notably her mother's yard which would bring up treasured memories with her mother and daughter in their yards. One of Juanita's retreats was sitting on her screened back porch overlooking her garden with her cat. She was ever so appreciative of her cat, Sweet Angel, who served as a loving companion. She passed her loving appreciation for plants and animals onto her daughter. Juanita will be missed, treasured and honored as a loving, loyal, honest, hardworking and dependable mother. To know her and to be loved by her was truly something remarkable. I will be looking for you around every corner, Mom. Online condolences may be made at www.forbisanddick.com. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Red Dog Farm Animal Rescue Network, 8653 NC-65, Stokesdale, NC 27357 or a charity of your choosing.
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