Thrya Smith at home with Sparky
Anita Kilgore

Thyra Doss Smith lost her husband of 55 years, Orville, two years ago. Thyra has lots of memories and photos to remind her of their time together. One memory she cherishes is the events leading up to their wedding.

Thyra’s father owned a small store in the Nances Creek community. He and Orville’s father were friends, Orville would come into the story occasionally with his father, so Thyra knew who he was.

One night she and her cousin and her cousin’s husband were parked in front of Meadows Drug Store in Piedmont, which was near Kimberly Café. Orville worked at Owens Funeral Home. He walked down the street to eat supper at Kimberly Café.

When he saw the trio sitting in a car, he walked over and talked to them. It took two phone calls for Thyra to agree to date him. They married three months after their first date.

“He didn’t own a vehicle, nor did I,” said. Thyra. “I had just graduated from high school. We used the funeral home’s flower truck to date in. Before it was a flower truck, it had been a chicken truck.”

Thyra remembers exactly how much money they had when they married.

“We had $57 between us,” she said. “He drew $37 a week at the funeral home.”

Their first home together was a rental on Anniston Avenue which was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Fred Minton.

The Smiths had four sons. Douglas and his wife Becky, Roger and his wife Terri and Kevin and his wife Vickie live in Nances Creek. Gary and his wife Kelly live in Piedmont.

Thyra has four granddaughters, one grandson, four step-grandchildren and seven great-step great-grandchildren.

Thyra was born in the Nances Creek community and has lived there most of her life. The house in which she was born is still standing and is occupied by a family.

Her parents are the late Mitchell and Emma (Smith) Doss. Her sisters are Olene Penny and Linda Jones of Nances Creek. At one time, Thyra, Olene and Linda were a trio and sang gospel music. They called themselves the Doss Sisters.

Thyra is a member of the Nances Creek Congregational Holiness Church where she teaches the young adults Sunday school class and serves as president of the Women’s Ministry. She became an ordained minister on Jan. 25.

Thyra was given a camera for Mother’s Day. Taking photographs has become her favorite thing. She photographs her family, friends and church members.

“That’s all we have after somebody’s gone on, is pictures,” she said.

For the past two years, Thyra has worked at visitations as a greeter at Dansby Funeral Home. She became acquainted with the Dansbys when her husband died. Prior to that, she worked part-time at Howard Stinson Jewelry Store for two years.

Her first job after high school was at Ben Franklin’s 5 & 10 Cent Store. She later worked at Kresses 5 & 10 Cent Store in Anniston.

Her other jobs include working in the offices at Anniston Hospital and Piedmont Hospital, driving a school bus for White Plains School, where she was also a substitute teacher, and Jim Garner Hardware Store.

Thyra said her mother did most of the cooking while she helped her father run his store.

“I used four pounds of lard the first week we were married,” she said.

Thyra eventually became a successful cook and enjoys preparing meals for her family.

“God has been so good to me and my family, and I praise Him for that,” she said.

(Contact Margaret at pollya922@gmail.