Read our Privacy Policy concerning online obituaries and release of information.


Ann Burns Smith

Ann Burns Smith

Ann Burns Smith was born July 14, 1928; she died October 3, 2017.

She leaves her sister, Carol Burns Smelley, her cousin Jane LeBlanc, her children Mike Smith and Rick Smith (Susan), her granddaughter Rose Smith, her niece Elaine Moctezuma Burns (Pedro), her nephew Joe Stuck Burns and her sister in law Sandra Burns, as well as great nieces and nephews: Lili Hamlyn, Reuben Hamlyn, Olene Moctezuma Burns, and Tlaloc Moctezuma Burns.

Annís paternal grandfather, Dr. J. L Burns was a prominent and greatly loved physician in Jonesboro. He helped raise the money and start the first hospital in Jonesboro. Annís maternal grandfather the Rev. A. C. Sutherland was a Methodist circuit rider, riding his horse over several counties to proclaim Godís love. Annís mother, Eva Sue Sutherland Burns was one of Jonesboroís leading ladies, an advocate for social services for the poor, a deeply committed Christian, a great story teller, and an artist. Annís father, Joe Burns was a farmer, a leader in starting the Arkansas Rice Growerís Association (which later became Riceland Food), a pillar of First Baptist Church and a civic leader. Ann came from a lineage of people who were contributors and leaders. She followed that lineage of leadership in her daily life.

Ann went to Jonesboro High School. She attended Wake Forrest College and was graduated from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She was a leading member of Chi Omega Sorority in Fayetteville. Later she completed her masters and post masters in education at Arkansas State University.

She married Dick Smith and they moved to Jonesboro in the early years of their marriage. Ann began teaching school when her two sons, Mike and Rick were in late elementary school. After a few years of teaching Ann found she had a heart for those kids who were really struggling to succeed in the regular classroom. She began to experiment with a variety of ways of reaching these kids. Nothing would stop her curiosity and her creativity as she tried countless methods and strategies to reach them. This passion and this competence eventually resulted in Ann establishing the first Alternative Educational School in the state. She created all the programing, found the funding, hired teachers and counselors, and directed all the operations. After many years of success in this endeavor, Ann was hired by the Arkansas State Department of Education to travel the state helping many school districts establish alternative educational programs. She went from town to town for 10 years training teachers, educating school boards, equipping principles, and inspiring parents with a vision of the potential of these children and the practical ways to reach them.

Ann left the Department of Education to be the director of the Pygmalion Commission, a nonprofit group committed to the advancement of alternative education. Here Ann continued her passion to help kids who had potential that needed a creative and different approach. She worked with educators as well as legislators and the governor to move her mission forward.

In addition to educational work, Ann was an ardent traveler, having visited over 35 countries and many of them several times. She was always ready for the next trip. Even in her 88th year she tried to talk a family member into one more trip. Travel was a joy and an adventure.

Ann was a lover of oriental rugs, Victorian silver, basset hound dogs, Southern cooking, and antiques. She loved ďgoing junkingĒ, finding bargains, finding a treasure in the rough, and having things restored to beauty and usefulness.

Ann and her husband Dick started a Sunday School Class at First Presbyterian Church for young couples. It was called ďPairs and SparesĒ. There were many meals, good conversation, and spiritual support.

Ann was a member for 45 plus years of a birthday club. These ladies celebrated birthdays with lovely home cooked meals, cards, flowers, beautiful silver and china, and true friendship. Lots of laughter and stories punctuated the Southern meals served to honor the birthday girl. It takes a lot of loyalty to keep a birthday club together for 45 years and Ann was long on loyalty.

Ann was also a member of a book club, a former session member of First Presbyterian Church, a member of Magnolia Road Church, and a former board member of the Salvation Army.

She was the consummate entertainer, hosting many dinner parties with style and grace. Ann was an encourager of others. Countless people were blessed by her listening ear, her kind words, her vision of hope for the underdog, and her spunky spirit.

The family wants to give thanks for all Annís wonderful caregivers, especially Lee Lloyd who stood by her side for many, many years. The team around Ann has been caring and loyal and kind.

She will be greatly missed by all who loved her.

A visitation for Jonesboro family and friends will be held at Emerson Funeral Home in Jonesboro, Monday October 9th, at 1:30 p.m. followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m. with the Rev. Emil Williams presiding.

A funeral for Little Rock family and friends will be held at St. Margaretís Episcopal Church, 20900 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, Tuesday afternoon October 10, 2017 at 1 p.m. the Rev. Mary Vano presiding. Following the service, there will be the interment of ashes in the columbarium at St. Margaretís.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given for a new walking prayer path at the Arkansas House of Prayer, checks should be made to Arkansas House of Prayer, PO Box 164717, Little Rock, Arkansas 72216. Also, memorials may be sent to Magnolia Road Baptist Church, 911 Magnolia Road, Jonesboro, Arkansas 72401. Arrangements are under the direction of Ruebel Funeral Home,

Condolence Book

"I was saddened to read of Ms.Anns death. I have many fond memories of our parents playing bridge and all of us children playing. Ms.Ann even gave me my first engagement luncheon when we were married 48 years ago. She was such a lady and I know that she will be missed by many Prayers for you all. Lee"
Lee Moore Green | Stuttgart, AR |

"Condolences to the family. Ann was a wonderful person from an outstanding family. So sorry and, again, condolences"
Robert H. Dudley | Little Rock, AR |

"So sorry for this loss. I only met Ann once later in life but it was memorable, as was she. We were sad for the long illness she and the family had to endure.
Linda and Mara

Linda Bessette & Mara Leveritt | Little Rock, AR |

"Carol, My sincere condolences in the death of your sister. What a remarkable life and legacy. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Annette Williams"

annette williams | Little Rock, AR |

"We are so sorry for the passing of your dear loved one. May your family find comfort and peace from Godís promise to reunite us with our family and friends who have died by means of an earthly resurrection (Acts 24:15). We all eagerly await the fulfillment of this wonderful promise from our Heavenly Father. Please accept our sincere condolences."
Celestins | |

Sign Condolence Book
Please fill out the form below to enter your name and a short message to the family into the online condolence book. Please type in regular sentence format; do not type in all capital letters; only type your condolence or comments in the ‚Äúcomments‚ÄĚ field ‚Äď your signature will be formatted from the ‚ÄúName,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúCity & State,‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúE-mail‚ÄĚ fields. Please remember that you are leaving comments for a public guestbook and not sending personal email to family members. Do not type in email or letter format. Phone numbers and Addresses (other than email) will not be posted.
* denotes required fields.
City and State*
E-mail Address
Online Disclosure
By pressing submit, you understand: 1) The information you provide will be posted on the publicly accessible web page. 2) Ruebel Funeral Home cannot be held responsible for any inconvenience or unwanted emails that may result. 3) Entries may be censored, edited or deleted at the discretion of the Ruebel Funeral Home website administrator. 4) Entry may be removed at request of family members or representative in charge of the arrangements.

If you cannot read the two words above, click the "Get a New Challenge" button below the words (looks like two red arrows in a circle). That will give you a new set of words.

© Copyright 2006-2007, Ruebel Funeral Home
Site Design by J&J Multimedia