Reflections of Life
Ashtonell Smith was born on July 25, 1933, in Beaumont, Texas and was one of three children born to the union of loving parents: Elliot McKinney and Mary Jane (Nesbit) McKinney. In the 1940s, Ashtonell relocated from Texas to California with her mother and siblings, and grew to adulthood in a two-bedroom corner house located in the infamous and legendary central Los Angeles. In her teenage years, Ashtonell struggled with a teen pregnancy that no doubt changed the course of her dreams and interrupted her education. Ashtonell had two additional children and did her best to provide food, raiment, a decent home, and the safety and security we all need, come to expect and sometime take for granted. Through sacrifice Ashtonell exemplified the instincts of a mother and provider and none of her children went lacking. But the story of Ashtonell goes far beyond that of a loving mother. Ashtonell had an unrequited longing for education.
Amazingly about the time that her first-born was a high school sophomore, Ashtonell attended adult school and received a high school diploma, two years before her first born graduated from the same high school. Ashtonell provided for her family and worked as a Certified Nurse’s Aide and sought an opportunity to become and became an Operating Room Technician at the Los Angeles County Harbor General Hospital. And while maintaining her role as mother and working full time, Ashtonell enrolled in an RN work-study program at Southwest College. Ashtonell acquired a license as a registered nurse and about the time that her sons were leaving home, she had advanced to a leadership role of charge nurse in the pediatrics department. Ashtonell continued her education at California State University and was licensed as public health nurse. Continuing a quest for knowledge Ashtonell seized upon an opportunity to be participant in the first Nurse Practitioner Program at the prestigious University of California at Los Angeles.
Ashtonell became a Nurse Practitioner and left the county and mentored Mormon high school children in Utah. Then, Ashtonell returned to Los Angeles and worked for Los Angeles Unified School District as a mom and school nurse at Thomas Jefferson High School, the very high school where her education had been interrupted as a teen. Expropriating additional opportunity, Ashtonell obtained a master’ degree in Organization Management from the University of Phoenix. Ashtonell Smith Retired Nurse Practitioner, PHN; PNP; AUD; ANP; MA; and most importantly Mom.
Ashtonell was proud of the accomplishment of the president Mr. Barack Obama and was a passionate supporter.
A residence of Leimert Park for over 49 years, Ashtonell was active in the ninth (9th) Avenue Block Club, where her motto was “Keeping It Clean”. Ashtonell subscribed to the Leimert Park Beat. In her walk with Christ, Ashtonell had fellowshipped at the First African Episcopal Methodist Church (FAME) under the leadership of Pastor Emeritus Cecil “Chip” Murray.
Ashtonell was a proud woman, dignified, and meticulous in her appearance. Ashtonell will be remembered first as a loving mother, generous, and kind, and a woman who could be friendly and feisty. Ashtonell valued education and above all cherished her family.
On July 6, 2013, Ashtonell was called home, “Well done my good and faithful servant, come take your rest.” Her parents Elliot McKinney and Mary Jane Nesbit, her sister Cora McKinney, husband Curtis Smith, husband Moses Woods, auntie Doris Irene Nesbit Crochet; nephew Edgar Ward Brown are among those that preceded her in passing.
Ashtonell leaves a legacy of love and precious memories with her loving sons, Albert Smith (wife Linda) of Los Angeles, CA, Lynwood Smith (wife Dorothy) of Houston, Texas, and Darryl Wesson of Garden Grove, CA; sister Evelyn McKinney of Camarillo, CA; cousin Irene P. Crochet Brown; cousin George Crochet; grandchildren: Leslie Wesson, Darnell Wesson, both of Parris, CA; Brian Smith and Michael Smith, both of Los Angeles, CA; a host of nieces, nephews, and other loving relatives and friends.
July 25, 2013 • 11:30am