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Mattie L. Smith
June 4, 1933 ~ June 12, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old
Mattie L Smith was born June 4, 1933 in Fairwood South Carolina. She was the daughter of Dock and Rena Wright. She is survived by her sisters Francis and Doris and preceded in death by her siblings Preston, Paul, Eddie, Laura Bell Janie Mae, and Annie Kelly.
Mattie moved to Providence, Rhode Island in the 1960s to begin a new life and offer better opportunities to her five young children. During her years in Rhode Island Mattie began to live a life of service, first as a cosmetologist, then a nurse, and finally as an activist and change maker at WAGE.
In the late 1980's Mattie helped co-found Dare (Direct Action for Rights and Equality) at her kitchen table with the help of Mark Toney and numerous other members of her community. Through Direct Action Mattie and Dare cleaned up their communities, waged a war on drugs and crime and made a difference for the residents of the inner city.
She was awarded the Jefferson Award for Activism and community service, she is also an inductee of the Martin Luther King Jr Hall of Fame. May 22nd was formally named Mattie L. Smith Day in 2000 by then Mayor Buddy Cianci.
Mattie is preceded in death by her Oldest son and Daughter Jesse James Smith Jr. and Jacqueline Elaine Hicks. She leaves behind her three youngest children Annie, Jerry, and Debra Smith and her adopted children Mark Toney, Mattie Jr, Jacqueline Jr., and Angela.
She also leaves behind a full family of grandchildren, great grand children, great great grandchildren, and two Great great great granddaughters as well as a host of cousins, nieces and nephews as well as a legacy that will continue to live on.