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Son-Ja Yvette Smith, 55, earned her heavenly wings on Tuesday, September 13, 2022.
God saw you getting tired, and a cure was not to be,
So, he put his arms around you, and whispered, “Come to Me”
A golden heart stopped beating, hardworking hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us he only takes the best.
She was born June 4, 1967, in Akron, Ohio to the union of Richard and Erma Hooks. In 1987, she married Duane Strong, and this union blessed her with a beautiful daughter, Ryan who was the true love of her life. In 1998 she married Nathanial Smith, and her family grew to include two bonus daughters, Brittnee and Bria.
Son-Ja was a graduate of Central-Hower High School and attended the University of Cincinnati and Pikes Peak College where she studied journalism. She had a profound love for reading and writing and shared this part of her life with her grandson, Levi. She was all about family and enjoyed spending time with them watching movies and game shows, listening to music, and eating good food.
Throughout her life, Son-Ja was fortunate to have a strong personal relationship with the Lord which brought her strength and peace when dealing with her failing health. She was a member of the House of Prayer for All People Church, under the leadership of Pastor R. Stacey Jenkins where she served on the usher board. Her church family’s commitment to her spiritual growth and personal well-being was a source of great joy and comfort to her.
Son-Ja was preceded in death by her father and stepmother, Richard and Willa Mae Hooks; grandparents, Hosea and Catherine Hooks; aunt and uncle, Samuel and Marion Dozier; and special aunts, Ethel Mitchell and Kathryn Jenkins. She leaves to celebrate her life and carry on her legacy, her daughter, Ryan Strong; mother, Erma Hooks; and sisters, Kimberly Hooks and Nikki Johnson, all of Lithonia, Ga., Lynn (Jerry) Puryear and Shannon Hooks, of Akron, Ohio; husband, Nathaniel Smith of Fort Worth, Texas; bonus daughters, Brittnee and Bria Smith, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; grandchildren, Levi Strong and Nylah Smith, of Akron, Ohio, Major Smith-Nelson, Juun Smith-Hughes, and My’liyah Smith-Nelson, all of Colorado Springs, Colo.; nieces, Sylver Banks, Britney and Brandi Johnson, all of Lithonia, Ga., and Jayilah Church, of Fort Wayne, Ind.; nephews, Tyler Hooks, Jared Puryear and Amarie Avery, all of Akron, Ohio, Xavier and Malcolm Hamilton, of Lithonia, Ga.; special relatives, friends and caregivers, Yvette Lester, Freda Jennings, Pastor Lynnette Jenkins and Ashley Scrivens-Jenkins, all of Akron, Ohio, Pam Jacob, Abby Wyckoff and Kajuanda, all of Atlanta, Ga., and Maria McCants, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and a host of other family members and friends.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2022, at 3 p.m., at The House Of Prayer For All People Church, 69 S. Balch St., Akron, OH 44302, where the family will receive friends from 2 p.m. until the time of service. Please send flowers directly to the church. Condolences may be sent to 534 Avalon Ave., Akron, Ohio 44320.