Hilda Smith Black, born on December 17, 1950, at Columbus County Hospital, Whiteville, NC died peacefully in her home surrounded by loved ones on February 7, 2024.
Preceded in death by her late husband, Steve Allen Smith; son Steven Alexander “Alex” Smith; and her parents Humphrey and Meta Hawes. Her mother was a war bride from Germany and her father a WWII American Soldier.
Hilda, blessed to find love again when she met and then married Jerry Thomas Black. These two were made for each other and everyone who knew them as a couple could see it. He survives her as well as her daughter, Lori Ashli Basily (Victor); three stepdaughters, Paula (Tim) Murray, Tracy (Chris) Gentry, and Shawn (Willie) Herring; three sisters, Dorothy Gore, Betty Hill, and Judy (Danny) Gore; four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews.
Hilda was a 1968 graduate of Nakina High School. She received a 1972 bachelor’s degree in English and Secondary Education at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington; and a 1993 master’s degree in English and Secondary Education at the University of South Carolina.
After graduating from UNCW, Hilda began teaching High School English at West Brunswick High School in 1973. She masterfully taught English in grades 9 through 12, and instructed and oversaw the development and instruction of the high school news publication, the “West Wind”, for 30 years. She was named Teacher of the Year of West Brunswick High School twice and taught with a fervor and tenacity that spoke volumes through generations. She was well known and loved by so many former students and known for her collaboration with Waccamaw Elementary School to develop a “pen-pal” program. She was a Shakespeare Scholar. In 2003 she retired after 30 years of teaching primarily at West Brunswick High School. In retirement she began teaching secondary English to students at the Horry County Detention Center until completely retiring in 2008.
Lifelong proud member of Alpha Delta Kappa (ADK), International Honorary Organization for Women Educators. Hilda served at the local, district, and state level within several distinct roles and held several positions over the years; continuing to support her local Beta Beta Chapter.
Hilda was an active member of Soldier Bay Baptist Church acting director of Women on Missions (WOM), active within the South Brunswick InterChurch Council (SBIC) and involved in the South Brunswick Island Garden Club.
Hilda was an incredible wife, mother, stepmother, mother-in-law, and proud grandmother. She was a selfless woman and cared deeply for her family and neighbors. Hilda accepted everyone with an open heart, open arms, and a perpetual smile. She had immense passion for her family, spiritual work, teaching, traveling and especially for her dedication and detailed care to her beautiful landscaping of her home and the Azor James Smith Family Cemetery.
Hilda’s departure comes as a great shock and a deep wound, and it is gravely felt by her entire family and countless others who loved her in the community. A graveside service will be conducted on Saturday, February 10, 2024, at 11AM in the Azor James Smith Family Cemetery, (3166 Longwood Road NW, Ash, NC 28420) to honor and celebrate her life.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations to honor Hilda go to the Women on Mission at Soldier Bay Baptist Church, PO Box 10, Ash, NC 28420. The family extends special thanks to the caregivers of Amedisys Hospice Care.
Brunswick Funeral Service Chapel Shallotte
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