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Ms. Ola Mae Smith Rockett

August 31, 1923 ~ May 10, 2022 (age 98)

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Mother Ola Mae Smith Rockett was born the third child of six children, to the late Leffie and Tinnie Fortenberry, in New Hebron, MS., where she united with North Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. 

She attended Cherry Hill Community School, Silver Creek, MS and Prentiss Normal Institute, Prentiss, MS.

She was married to A.P. Smith. To this union, six children were born. They planted a godly foundation for their family. After Mr. Smith succumbed due partially to Muscular Dystrophy, she became the matriarch of the family. 

In 1952, Mrs. Smith moved to Jackson, MS where she and her family united with Old Strangers Home Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastors George C. Carroll, Jesse Sutton, Sr., and Joe Washington. She served as superintendent of the Sunday School.

She was director of a local kindergarten where she valued the welfare of childcare. Mother Rockett had excellent work ethics and timeliness. Daughter Rolean should know. 
She was a product of the Civil Rights era where she and her family witnessed the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and about three thousand Freedom Riders march pass their house.

She also enjoyed baking that began at a bakery alongside her cousin Sweetie Mae Williams. Her most requested items were cornbread dressing and homemade biscuits made from scratch. She kneaded the dough with one hand while carrying her brother Haymond on her opposite hip. 

She later worked at Jackson Public School System and took classes in Culinary at University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg. 

Following the death of Mr. Smith, she was united in marriage to T.J. Rockett. Following his death, Mother Rockett relocated to St Louis, MO to be close to her daughter Mary, and her three brothers. She united with Greater Fairfax Missionary Baptist Church, under the leadership of Pastor Dr. Haymond Fortenberry. 

Mother Rockett enjoyed talking to people and gave of herself. She was resilience—“I am happy that I can do for others rather than they have to do for  me.” She enjoyed being with family. 

As many of you may know, Mother Rockett was an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals where she spent her downtime watching the games, along with her telephone church “Buddy” Sis. Eula Williams. They not only watched the games but they called the plays. At times even, grounded the umpire for whom they thought made a bad call. 

She was preceded in death by her parents Leffie and Tinnie Fortenberry; stepmother Betsy Fortenberry; husbands  A.P. Smith and T.J. Rockett; children Gary Smith, Jackie Smith and Mary Love Thompson; grandchildren Malcolm Brinson, Jamie Brinson and Shylarie Antwon Smith; brothers Vardaman Fortenberry, Upton Fortenberry, L.J. Fortenberry and Excel Fortenberry.

She leaves to cherish her memories, sons Floyd Smith, Jackson, MS, Larry Smith (Joann) Canton, MS, daughter Rolean Brinson, Madison, MS, brother Dr. Haymond Fortenberry (Christell) St. Louis, MO; grandsons Marcus Love, Cedric Love, and Stephen Love, St. Louis, MO and granddaughter Katina Henderson, Baton Rouge, La, Cousins Mrs. Ineva Pittman, and Mrs. Audrey Garrett, and a host of other relatives and friends.

Mother Rockett will be sorely missed.


Visitation Hours will be held Friday 05/20/22 from 12-7 p.m. at People's Funeral Home

Funeral Services will be held Saturday 05/21/22 at 1:00 p.m. at North Pleasant Hill Baptist Church and intern at the Church cemetery located on 495 Pleasant Hill Road New Hebron, MS 39140


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