Proverbs 31:10 “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”

Melba Ann Smith-Harris, of Minneapolis, Minn., and formerly of Kankakee, was born Nov. 5, 1946, in Kankakee, the daughter of Ruth E. Andrews and Claude Smith. Her parents preceded her in death.

She went to her heavenly home Aug. 4, 2019, surrounded by family.

Melba Ann was raised and dearly loved by Marie Pankey and Thomas Ivory Branch. They also preceded her in death. Melba Ann was very educated; although she did not go through the Illinois Public School System, she was as smart, if not smarter, than her peers.

She leaves to cherish her memory, her husband, Daryl Harris-El, of Minneapolis, Minn.; children, James (Darice) Smith, of Kankakee, Scott (Diane) Smith, of Minneapolis, Minn., Daryl Jones, of Bloomington, Melvin Fletcher, of Houston, Texas, and Anthony Fletcher, Charles Fletcher and Jeffrey Fletcher, all of Minneapolis, Minn.; four sisters, Claudette Smith-Wilson, of Las Vegas, Nev., Regina Smith and Connie Smith, both of Kankakee, and Michelle Smith-Rosenthal, of Tyler, Texas; one brother, David “Pete” Smith, of Kankakee; 41 grandchildren; and a host of great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

In addition to her parents, Ruth E. Andrews and Claude Smith, she was preceded in death by her son, Thomas Smith; two brothers, Robert Fatheree and George Bell; and sister, Cheryle Jones.

Funeral arrangements are by Leak and Sons Funeral Homes, Chicago.

Visitation will be from 9:45 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, until the 10:30 a.m. homegoing service at Redeeming Life Ministries, 1284 South 4th St., Kankakee. Repast immediately follows gravesite services and will take place in the church fellowship hall.


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