Funeral Service

GEORGE

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Lillian Rebecca Smith George (1923-2021) passed away peacefully in Salt Lake City, Utah, on February 6, 2021, at the age of 97.  Radiating genuine warmth to anyone fortunate enough to meet her, Lillian was an inspiration to many throughout her life. She had a unique gift of seeing the very best in people. An eternal optimist with a fierce love of life, she always looked forward to a better future, whether to the end of the COVID pandemic and being able to hug friends again, or returning to Tennessee to see her people, or to another spring and being able to sit outside in the sun, enjoying nature, watching birds, preferably by a lake. For everyone who knew her Lillian was the definition of grace. She was witty, spunky, and determined, all while wisely engaging and loving the people around her. Born Lillian Rebecca Smith on June 12, 1923, in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, the second child and oldest daughter of Henry Smith and Maggie Dewey Swafford, she grew up near Falk Creek Falls State Park, where her father served as the first park ranger. A country girl and child of the Depression, she lived an adventurous life. One of her proudest moments was being named “1971 Woman of the Year” by the Warner Robins Business and Professional Women’s Club in recognition of her service to the community. She campaigned for Jimmy Carter in 1976, traveling as a member of his Peanut Brigade, and was the first campaign volunteer to greet Jimmy Carter after being elected. The photo of Lillian taken with President-elect Carter was shared around the world. She and her husband proudly attended the 1976 inauguration and inauguration ball. Another highlight was being a delegate at the 1980 Democratic National Convention in New York City. She married the love of her life Eucle George and gave birth to their daughter June Dayle before Eucle flew off to serve in Japan with the 11th Airborne Division at the end of World War II. Lillian was also an astute businesswoman. She became an optician and ultimately owned her own optical shop in Warner Robbins, Georgia. She and Eucle retired to a home on a lake in Manchester, Tennessee, a place she dearly loved. Preceding her in death is her husband Eucle George, siblings John Smith, Margie Savage, and Barbara Chapman. She leaves behind her daughter June Jelm, grandson Kristian Jelm, granddaughter Sarah Lazic, sister-in-law Bonnie George, and many loving nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She will be buried beside her husband Eucle at Crain Hill Cemetery in Van Buren County, Tennessee.

 

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