Shirlene L. Wright Smith

May 16, 1957 ~ July 9, 2020 (age 63)


Calling hours Thursday, July 16, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, 1535 Dewey Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43219. 

Shirlene Louise Wright Smith was born on May 16, 1957 in Columbus, Ohio.  She entered eternal peace on Thursday, July 9, 2020 at the age of 63.

Shirlene, affectionately known as “Nana” was born into the union of the late Willie Lee and Ella Louise Wright.  She was the eldest of six children.  Shirlene was a strong tower, with a giving spirit and compassionate to all who encountered her. She loved God and when giving advice she would say frequently, “I can’t give you anything but the word.”  She never forgot her upbringing in Eliezer Church of Christ and could be heard singing many of the old hymns.  She was a hilarious impersonator, she loved to impersonate celebrities.  Although she had no rhythm, she loved to dance.  Shirlene enjoyed annual retreats with her sisters, as traveling and spending time with them was one of her favorite pastimes. Being lifelong best friends, she and her sister Patricia shared special moments together during daily lunch hour video chats.  Sharing many details of each other’s lives amidst abundant laughter was an unparalleled and immensely gratifying sibling ritual between the two. 

She was an avid reader, and a collector of Black Art.  Many of her Saturday afternoons were spent enjoying the latest movie with friends and family.  All who knew Shirlene knew that she loved to cook.  Her family knew her as “Crazy Cookin’ Nana.”  Her sweet potato pies, pound cakes and fried chicken would make anyone’s mouth water as they look forward to seconds.  After graduating from Linden McKinley High School, she married Leslie Vernon Smith and they became the proud parents of Chelsea Reina Smith. She also became the guardian of Ava Kay Malone, her great niece, she often described Ava as her loving assignment from God.

Shirlene accepted the Lord while playing church at home with her siblings and there she received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  She was a faithful member at Eliezer, where she served on the Usher board and junior choir.  Her spiritual journey took her on to Greater Light House, Bethel Temple and on to New Covenant Believer’s Church, where Bishop Howard Tillman presides.

Shirlene was employed at Ohio Capital Corporation Housing where she was loved by many.  She loved her position as a receptionist and even worked through sickness many days.  As a devoted daughter, mother, sister, grandmother and friend, she dedicated her life to taking care of the ones she loved.  Her door and her heart were always open, and the table was spread.  She promised God to always feed the hungry and worked faithfully with the Dade Family Faith in Action mission.

Shirlene leaves a legacy with her daughter: Chelsea Smith, Sisters: Patricia Smedley (James), Tonya Wright, Dionne Holloway (Nathan), Brothers: Willie L. Wright (Lisa and Jirah M. Lee Wright.

Nieces and Nephews- Tia Smedley, James Smedley, Toya Wright, Christopher Wright, Keli, Wright, Colin Wright, Kaelyn Wright, Faith Wright, Brittny Malone, Courtny Malone, David Farmer and Mason Holloway; Grandson- Braxton Robinson-Smith; and a host of great nieces and nephews; Special Friends- Greg Carson, Ernestine Jordan, Chris Scott and Tonya Shank; She is preceded in death by her father Willie Lee Wright, mother Ella Louise Wright and sister Lisa Kay Malone.


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Calling hours
July 16, 2020

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church
1535 Dewey Ave
Columbus, OH 43219

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