Latrell “Blossom” Barnes Smith was born on April 2,1929 in Marianna, Florida to Lillian Barnes Hill. Blossom went to be with the Lord on May 22, 2023, in Lilburn, Georgia. She lived a full life of service to the many communities she loved. Blossom was a long-time member of St. Mary Baptist Church in Blountstown, FL and more recently, New Bethel AME Church in Lithonia, GA.
Blossom grew up in the Mount Tabor community in Marianna, Florida, surrounded by large nurturing families including her grandparents, Anne Long Barnes, and Will Barnes. As a child she worked on her family’s farm, assisting with harvesting crops. In her teen years, Blossom started assisting a local doctor in the community before and after school. After graduating from high school, she moved to Maryland where she met her first husband, Willie Elliot Burke. They were married in 1947 and had two sons, Willie Elliot Burke, Jr., and John Andrew Burke. Having a desire to continue her education, she was nominated by Jackson County Hospital to apply for a nursing scholarship for tuberculosis. She was accepted into the nursing program at Florida A&M University along with thirty-five other students. In 1959, Blossom was one of only eleven to graduate with “great distinction.”
Shortly after graduating from FAMU, Blossom married Carlton “Coach” Smith, moved to Blountstown, FL and had two children, Nancy Carla, and Carl Oliver Smith. She devoted her professional life to serving others as a registered nurse (RN). She served as the first Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) teacher in the State of Florida system in Marianna, FL. Blossom spent many years working at Calhoun Co General Hospital, Chattahoochee State Hospital, and Apalachee Nursing Home. Blossom was highly active in her community, helping them with their medical needs. She retired from nursing in 1997 after nearly 50 years of medical service.
Latrell “Blossom” Barnes Smith was preceded in death by her husband, Carlton, and daughter Nancy. She will be lovingly remembered by her three sons, Willie (Dedra) Burke of New Orleans, LA, John (Frances) Burke of Tamarac, FL, and Carl (Lynett) Smith of Lilburn, GA. She will be missed by her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, family, and friends.
Services to celebrate and honor Blossom’s life will take place on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at Blountstown High School Auditorium, Blountstown, FL at 11:00 am CST. Pastor C.L. Wilson of St. Mary Baptist Church will officiate the service. Visitation will take place at Peoples Funeral Home in Marianna, FL, on Friday, June 2, 3:00 – 6:00pm. Interment will take place at Magnolia Cemetery in Blountstown, FL. Repast will take place at Veterans Memorial Civic Center in Bristol, FL. Final arrangements have been entrusted to the Caring Staff at Peoples Funeral Home of Marianna.