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Obituary for Patricia (Patsy) Ann Rees Smith Patricia (Patsy) Ann Rees Smith
Longtime VMI Employee Dies At Age 82

Patricia (Patsy) Ann Rees Smith, 82, of Lexington, Virginia passed away peacefully on April 1, 2020.

Patsy was born on December 14, 1937 in the original Stonewall Jackson Hospital on Washington Street to the late Glasgow Nathaniel Rees and Ruth Jeffries Rees.

She was raised in Rockbridge County and attended Wesley Chapel Methodist Church. Later, she moved to Lexington with her parents who resided near the campus of Washington and Lee and ran "Overnight Guests," a tourist home, for 59 years.

After business school, Patsy worked for the Dean of Faculty and Superintendent's Office at Virginia Military Institute and retired in 2007 after over 50 years of service. She worked as secretary to the Civil Engineering department head from 1959 to 1965 when she moved to the Dean's Office. Patsy loved VMI and all of the people that she met and worked with and continued to get together with her VMI friends for lunch and stay in touch. Her face would light up whenever you mentioned either the school or anyone affiliated with VMI.

She was active with the Lexington Business and Professional Women's Club and volunteered at the Rockbridge Area Relief Association’s food pantry. Patsy enjoyed traveling and visiting her children and grandchildren. She was an avid reader and made many fond memories with family while vacationing at South Carolina beaches. Her infectious smile and sense of humor will be missed.

Patsy was preceded in death by her husband, Jesse Willis Smith Sr., who passed February 16, 1988.

She is survived by three children, Jesse Willis Smith Jr. of Alexandria, Lorna Smith of Richmond and Susan Diemer of Ft. Mill, S.C. She also had six wonderful grandchildren, Tyler Smith, William Smith, Eric Smith, Jared Diemer, Justin Diemer and Kaitlin Diemer.

A private graveside service was conducted April 4 at Stonewall Jackson Cemetery by retired VMI Chaplain Charles Caudill. The family is planning a celebration of life for a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rockbridge Area Relief Association at or by sending a check to Rockbridge Area Relief Association, P. O. Box 640, Lexington, VA 24450.

Arrangements are by Harrison Funeral Home & Crematory.