Nancy Jo Smith (born September 10, 1946 - June 18, 2020) passed away at her home on Thursday morning due to heart failure. Nancy was born in Greensboro and continued to live in Greensboro until her passing. She was preceded in death by her parents Johnnie Marie Smith and Odell Leonard Smith, partner in crime Curtis Astor Smith, and best friend Gail Sullivan. She is survived by her children Kenneth Dale Key, Christopher Todd Key, Matthew Scott Key (wife Priscilla Key), Heather Key Owens (husband Gabriel Owens), grandsons Matthew Alexander Key and Keyton O'Dell Owens. Nancy's parents were also Greensboro natives. Her mother worked at Lorillard until retirement age; her father was a World War II veteran and retiree of American Optical. In her youth she was a Bessemer High School student and Greensboro softball player. Nancy married on Christmas day 1963 and spent most of her life as a homemaker and mother until her divorce in 1991. To support her family, she baked homemade breads and cakes that she sold at the Greensboro Farmer's Market until the early 1990s. Afterward, she started her own residential cleaning service that she maintained for over 20 years. She was never afraid to work hard and made sure that the work measured up to her perfectionist standards. Nancy's favorite pastime was having fun and spending time with her family. She especially loved attending her daughter's karaoke shows, visiting with her friends, and spending time with her adored grandson Keyton and grand-dog Cole. She had a great love for music which she passed on to her family. Her feisty spirit and personality lit up every room she ever graced with her presence. It was impossible not to smile and laugh with her. She became a second mom to hundreds of people over the years as her nurturing spirit was worn on her sleeve. She loved so completely and has left such a huge vacancy upon leaving us, that no words could ever express what she meant to us. There will be a celebration of her life held at her favorite spot, Lawndale Drive-In, 2156 Lawndale Dr., Greensboro, North Carolina 27408 on Sunday, June 28th from 2 to 5 floating (establishment not open for business & memorial guests only). Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider a donation to the ASPCA.
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