Naomi Butler Smith Weaver, 95, of Raleigh, passed away on Thursday, November 2, 2023, at Rex Hospital in Raleigh following a period of declining health.
Naomi was born on April 11, 1928 in Connelly Springs, N.C., to the late Guy Rupert Smith and Margaret Parilee (Arney) Smith. She graduated from Hildebran High School, where she was class salutatorian, and graduated from Clevenger’s Business College in Hickory, N.C. After deciding she wanted to teach, she graduated from Appalachian State Teachers College (now Appalachian State University), magna cum laude, in 1951, with a degree in elementary education. In 1952, she married Sterling A. Weaver, a textile engineer, who was originally from Catawba County.
Naomi and Sterling enjoyed living in a number of cities, as Sterling worked for textile manufacturers and Naomi taught in elementary schools in Shelby, N.C.; Eden, N.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; Columbia, South Carolina; and Danville, Virginia. With the birth of their daughters, Janie and Lynne, they settled down in 1967 in Eden, N.C., to raise their family.
Naomi taught first and second grades for over 30 years; and she passionately loved teaching. When Janie and Lynne were very young, she stayed at home but returned to teaching when Lynne started kindergarten; and she taught until retiring in 1993, having taught many years at North Spray Elementary and Douglas Elementary schools in Eden. After Naomi retired, she volunteered at Leaksville Spray Elementary School in Eden for several years.
Naomi was active in a variety of community organizations in Eden for many years. She belonged to the N.C. Alpha Zeta Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, of which she was a charter member. Naomi also participated in the Eden Garden Club, Eden Woman’s Club, the American Association of University Women, and the women’s study group at Leaksville United Methodist Church.
In 2008, Naomi moved to Wake Forest, N.C. to be near Lynne and her family. Naomi loved living in Wake Forest. Most of all, she adored being Grandma to Nathaniel (now Nate); and some of her happiest times were spent with him after he got home from school in the afternoons. In early 2023, in declining health, she moved to Abbotswood at Stonehenge in Raleigh, where she greatly appreciated the very attentive care she received from caregivers there. For most of her life, until she was no longer able, Naomi thoroughly enjoyed reading, gardening, cooking, and doing needlepoint, among other pastimes. Naomi was a warm, caring, and loving person, with a wonderful sense of humor; and she was deeply loved by her family, friends, students, and all who knew her.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brothers Ray H. Smith, formerly of Newport, Michigan; Douglas R. Smith, formerly of San Antonio, Texas; and Joe E. Smith, formerly of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Naomi is survived by her daughters, Janie Leigh Weaver, of Wilson, N.C.; and Margaret Lynne Weaver (Russell H. Smith) of Wake Forest, N.C., and beloved grandson Nathaniel (Nate) Hunter Smith, of Wake Forest, N.C. and Tucson, Arizona, as well as many nieces, nephews, and their families.
Per Naomi’s wishes, a graveside service will be held on December 16, 2023 at noon, at Oak Ridge Baptist Church Cemetery, in Connelly Springs, N.C., with Rev. Ellis G. Fulbright, Sr. and Rev. April B. Abernethy officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to Oak Ridge Baptist Church of Connelly Springs, N.C. (7449 Oak Ridge Church Road, Connelly Springs, NC 28612), of which Naomi’s parents were founding members and donated land to build the church, or to any charity of your choice.
An online guestbook and obituary is available at www.heritagefuneralservices.com
Heritage Funeral Service & Crematory of Valdese is assisting the Weaver family.