Lenora Smith Hemme


Lenora Smith Hemme, beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away on March 11, 2024, in Shelby, NC, at the age of 97. Born in 1927 into a sharecropper family, Lenora had three older brothers who loved to play pranks on her. She learned to stand up for herself at an early age.
She graduated from Lytton Springs High School in 1944, at the top of her class. Her graduating class consisted of six girls, and one boy, as most of the boys had joined the armed forces during WWII.
Lenora met her future husband, Hugo Hemme, while on a hayride. Hugo was one of the sons of a German farmer in Lockhart. They married in 1944, before Hugo was drafted into WWII. The separation was not easy for the newlyweds, but thankfully the war was nearing an end.
When Hugo returned from service, they began their family. After the birth of their first child, they purchased a portion of the Hemme family farm that Hugo had loved as a child, a peaceful area next to the State Park. They dug a well by hand and began building a small frame home near a spring-fed creek and an ancient oak tree. Through the years, the house grew as their family grew. They raised four children, Jerry, Judy, Janice, and Jonathan in their home.
The family were active members of the Lockhart Church of Christ. Hugo and Lenora both taught classes for decades and were actively involved in World Bible School. Lenora also participated in the prison ministry, delivered Meals on Wheels, and served as bookkeeper for The Paint Shop.
They lived in their beloved home until August 2021, when they moved to North Carolina to be near their daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Lenora was predeceased by Hugo, her loving husband of 77 years; her parents, Dave and Linnie Smith; brothers, Burkett, Haskell and Lester; two grandsons, Trey and Drew Simpson; and sons-in-law, Mike Perry and Tim Reilly.
Surviving her are: sons, Jerry Hemme and Jonathan Hemme; daughters, Judy Perry and Janice Reilly; grandchildren, Scott Simpson (Alison), Dianna Perry, Chris Perry, and J.T. Perry (Carolina); great-grandchildren, Nate and Kurt Simpson, Cameron and Hannah Peterson, and June Perry; numerous nieces and nephews; and many beloved fellow church members.
Pallbearers will be Jonathan Hemme, Scott Simpson, Christopher Perry, and J.T. Perry. Honorary pallbearers will be Nate Simpson, Kurt Simpson, Cameron Peterson, and Hannah Peterson.
Visitation services will begin at 9 AM, April 3 at McCurdy Funeral Home. Funeral services will follow at 10 AM at McCurdy Funeral Home with Bob Hailey, minister of the Lockhart Church of Christ, officiating.


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