Amelia “Lou” Smith Yawn, 78, of Summit, passed away Sept. 4, 2021, in Hattiesburg.
Visitation will be noon Saturday until services at 2 p.m. at Hartman-Jones Funeral Home. Burial will follow in the Smith-Yawn Family Cemetery in Summit.
Amelia was born Jan. 17, 1943, in McComb to Lonnie L. Smith and Frances Amelia Smith.
Amelia was a graduate of McComb High School but also played softball at the East McComb Activities Field. It was her love of softball and an intensely competitive spirit that led her to organize a Ponytail and Teenage Softball League for girls.
She was instrumental in organizing what was the first state tournament for Ponytail girls in McComb. It was with great pleasure that she and her sister coached a teenage girls’ team to the national championship tournament, not once but on two occasions.
She was a terrific organizer and served on the Pike County Fair Board, the Cattlemen’s Association and with the Mississippi Department of Agriculture.
Amelia could get things done, but she was a world class delegator, playing to the strengths of those around her. When you visited Amelia, you should always plan to complete the “to do” list she had just for you!
Softball was not Amelia’s only passion. In fact, she lived life to its fullest and had a laugh and smile that were contagious. She was passionate about education and its importance in all our lives.
She attended Southwest Mississippi Community College, Mississippi State University and later earned her master’s degree in biology. With her continued education and her love for working with students, she paid it all forward by teaching at SMCC for 18 years, retiring in 2008.
Another passion was Amelia’s love of travel. She began traveling throughout the United States with her husband, Larry Yawn, while he did various jobs in disaster recovery. Amelia and Larry would head to Idaho, Kentucky, Florida, Pennsylvania and all over south Louisiana — wherever Mother Nature would strike. They formed lifelong friendships during this time and made every trip an adventure.
Experiencing life and various cultures across the US, whetted Amelia’s thirst for traveling the world. Her worldwide travels began by taking PTK students abroad. This expanded to taking all their grandchildren to China, Costa Rica and Australia, and more recent trips were with family and friends. Amelia’s travels took her to every continent except Antarctica, which was simply too cold for her to visit!
Amelia’s last trip was to the U.S. Southwest with her sisters and friends to visit four national parks.
Lou made attending sporting events, graduations and weddings for all her grandchildren her highest priority, no matter how far away it took place. She also took pride in everyone gathering together on the farm, especially a big bonfire during Christmas time.
Later in Amelia’s life when most people would be slowing down, she reconnected with high school friends and longtime residents of Pike County. She formed new relationships and enjoyed their activities together: Smokin on the Tracks, frequenting church and attending reunions.
Amelia was a great lover of animals. She had her first cow at age 12, and if you had a newborn calf named after you, you know that you were a true friend of Amelia’s. She loved organizing the pet show for the Pike County Fair; she wanted others to love the animals the way she did! As she passes through those pearly gates, I am sure she will be greeted by many wagging tails.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Charles Larry Yawn; and one great-granddaughter, Annie McDaniel.
Survivors include daughters, Angela Nobert (Doug) of Memphis, Heidi Moore (Joey) of Tupelo, Kandy McGinnis (Alan) of Pace, Fla., Pam Cross (Jeff) of Apollo Beach, Fla., Kim Stewart (Lane) of Biloxi, Charlie Yawn of Denham Springs, La., Bobby Yawn of McComb and Chris Yawn of Hattiesburg; 23 grandchildren, Joseph, Kacey, McKenzie, Jeremy, Caden, Maci, Palmer, Justin, Jamie, Matthew, Callie, Emily, Sarah Grace, Lauren, Carley, Reagan, Joshua, Austin, Lindsey, Logan, Payton, Cael and Meredith; six great-grandchildren, Lincoln, Brecken, Bella, Baylor, Everly and Ainsley; sisters, Sarah Rogers and Maureen Burris; brothers, Louis Smith and Mark Smith (Jama); cousins, Judy Matheos, Neil Harrison (Julie) and David McNeill; special friend Dennis Null; and lifelong friend “D.”
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to PALS Rescue animal shelter, 1071 Marys Drive, McComb, MS 39648.
Share condolences at www.hartmanjonesfuneralhome.com