Velma Ruth Smith Pounds (Nana) was born August 16, 1919, to Perry and Fannie Smith in Padgett, Texas and died on October 11, 2019.
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After graduating from high school in 1937, Velma married Robert James (R. J.) Pounds.
During World War II, both she and R.J. worked in an aircraft manufacturing plant, building bombers in Fort Worth. After the war ended, they moved to Borger where they resided for 15 years. While there, Velma worked for a dentist and went to school nights to earn her certificate as a dental assistant. Some years later, when the family moved from the Gulf Oil camp into town, Velma went to work for the city in the water department. After their daughter, Jerrie, graduated from high school, they moved back to Fort Worth, where Velma was employed at the District Clerk’s office.
After their grandson was born, they moved to Houston to be near Jerrie and Randy. Nana and Papa were like a second set of parents to Randy. In Houston, Velma worked for Western National Bank. Getting home from work, Nana would walk into her kitchen and 30 minutes later, just as everyone sat down at the table, “Oh I forgot the bread in the oven.” The meals were wonderful, even if the bread was a little crispy. If Papa criticized the bread, Nana would reply, “I like it that way.”
In all her days of employment outside the home, Velma made friends who remained close for years and years. Beautiful, physically and spiritually, she was baptized at First Baptist Church in Borger along with Jerrie. Velma read her Bible faithfully. She was a member of University Baptist Church while in Fort Worth and Westheimer Baptist Church in Houston.
After retirement, the Pounds moved to Brenham, where for many years she enjoyed friends and neighbors, inviting them for meals and a game of Forty-Two. On evenings when it was just Velma & R.J., there was almost always a game of cards or dominoes to determine who would wash the dishes. While in Brenham, she was an active member of Calvary Baptist Church.
In their twilight years, Velma and R.J. moved to Waco, once again to be close to Jerrie and Randy, his wife, Gae, and great-granddaughter, Lauren. In the years after R.J. lost his sight, the two of them would sit together each morning with Velma reading the Bible aloud. And they would pray together. In 2010, Velma & R.J. moved to Regent Care Center of Woodway. After over seventy-five years together, Velma lost her R.J. in 2013. During their years in Waco, they were members of Western Heights Baptist Church.
In August of this year, Velma celebrated her 100th birthday. As her health finally failed and death approached, Velma was appreciative of her long life and she retained her unique sense of humor. A few days before she passed, she remarked one evening, “I never expected to live this long. God has been so good. I’ve had a good and long life and I am at peace… This is all new to me. I’ve never died before.” And she smiled. Almost as if she was responding to slightly overcooked bread, she might have said, “I like it that way.”
Preceding Velma in death, were her parents, Perry and Fannie Smith; her sisters, Laura Smith Drennan of Olney, Jewel Smith Heard of Seymour, Rosa Smith Nichols of Midland, Essie Smith Hulse of Newcastle; her brothers, Alva (Boob) Smith of Padgett, Eli Smith of Olney, James Perry (Pete) Smith of Dallas, Ed Smith of Waco, and Don Smith of Cleburne.
Velma is survived by her daughter, Jerrie Colleen Pounds Woodruff Paul; her grandson, Randy Woodruff and his wife Gae Woodruff of McGregor; and her great-granddaughter, Lauren Woodruff of Waco.
The family would like to extend thanks to Regent Care Center staff for the care and love they provided for years. Also, there is a special place in heaven for Kip Osborne, minister to senior adults at Western Heights Baptist Church. Kip visited, wrote, prayed, sang, and reflected Christ’s love for so many years. Thank you.
On Saturday, October 19 at 10 a.m., with Kip Osborne officiating, family will gather for a memorial service at Christus Chapel at Providence Park (St. Catherine Center). In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to your preferred charity.