On Sunday, March 28, 2021, April Harris Smith departed this life. She was born in Sulphur, LA, on April 20, 1981. She was the only girl and youngest of three children born to the late Sherman and Martha Lee Ross Harris. She was the granddaughter of the late Para Lee Harris and Sherman B. Harris and the late Betsy and Dave Ross, Sr. She was affectionately called “April Michelle” by her family. She was a member of Gospel Spreading Church of God in Hampton, where she sang in the annual “Cross Choir” and the 1st Sunday choir called “God’s Will”.
April graduated from Woodside High School in 1999 and furthered her education at the historic Norfolk State University, becoming an accomplished Registered Nurse. In 2004, she married Joel Lee Smith, Jr. of Williamsburg, Virginia, and began to build a family. She managed her family and career and gained 15 years of experience in hospitals all over northern and southern Virginia, nursing the sick back to health. Her greatest joy was seeing patients leave the hospital in better health because of her care.
Although she was proud of her education and career, nothing compared to the joys of her life, her children Joel, III (Tre), Jayden, and Jayla Aleece, who preceded her in death. April was a friend to many. Her patient spirit, willingness to listen, and easygoing nature were appreciated by those whose lives she touched.
April is survived by her husband, Joel Smith, Jr.; two sons, Joel, III (Tre) and Jayden; step-father, Rodney Bowen; mother and father-in-law, Alice and Joel Smith, Sr.; brothers, Stephan Harris (Miranda) and Quincy Harris; sisters-in-law, Talaya Spratley (Chris), Allison Parrish, and Sonya Small (Brian); brother-in-law, Josh Smith; eight nephews, Stephan Pitts, Nicholas Smith, Christian and Brandon Harris, Jordan Spratley, Brayden Smalls, Cayden Mears, and Tyreke Mears-Smith; six nieces, Elaina, Lili, and Peyton Harris, Destinee Smith, Jada Spratley, and Brielle Smalls; godparents, Reverend Arthur and Dorothy Etienne, godmother, Majorie Turner; goddaughter, Kendall Smith; and a host of other relatives and friends.
A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, April 9, 2021, in the National Memorial Cemetery, Treasure Island Road, Williamsburg. Facial coverings and social distancing are required. Livestream will be available at the start of the service.
Professional services entrusted to the staff of Whiting's Funeral Home, 7005 Pocahontas Trail, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185. 757-229-3011 whitingsfuneralhome.com
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