Barbara Ann (Bobbie) Rigsbee Smith passed away on October 7, 2019 after a courageous two-year battle with small cell lung cancer.
Bobbie was born and raised in Durham, NC, daughter of Stewart and Gladys Rigsbee, sister of Mary Rigsbee Lynam and Charlie Rigsbee. She graduated from Durham High School and later received her RN degree from Watts School of Nursing. Shortly after that, she met and married Robert (Bob) Smith, her husband of 61 years.
Bob and Bobbie initially lived in Durham, NC raising their two daughters, Bambi Smith Berger and Barbi Smith Jones. She loved taking care of her family and friends and volunteering and teaching at Lakewood Baptist Church, working with all ages. A lifelong learner and teacher, Bobbie learned and practiced healthy eating and exercising habits, running, biking and leading aerobics classes in the early 1980s, long before many others.
Bobbie sold Mary Kay Cosmetics for over 40 years and was known for working with her customers one-on-one, helping them each with their individual needs rather than the traditional “party” structure. Her devotion developed a large customer base that she continued to serve until a week before her passing.
She assisted Bob in his role as executive director of the North Carolina Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association, creating truly special events for meetings and conventions. She will be remembered for the remarkable women’s events she put together each year that shared unique recipes and ideas for holiday entertaining.
Bob and Bobbie spent 23 years living in Kure Beach, NC, where they were active members at First Baptist Church of Wilmington. She devoted much time serving the women’s prison population preparing worship services, devotionals and prayer lists for the inmates. She passionately supported them as they transferred within the prison system and celebrated and helped them with their transitions upon their release.
They moved to Wake Forest, NC two years ago where they were warmly welcomed by Wake Forest Baptist Church and the Koinonia Sunday School class whom they consider family.
Bobbie is survived by husband Bob, siblings Mary and Charlie, daughters Bambi, (husband Randy Berger,) Barbi, (husband Craig Jones,) grandsons Trent and Brooks Jones and many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and beloved cats, Jake and Kringle.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Margaret A. Deutsch and the staff at Duke Oncology for the loving and exceptional care Bobbie received through her journey.
Bobbie was confident of a peaceful and loving future with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and hopes her life and legacy was a testament to the God she loved so well. A celebration of her life will be held on Sunday, October 13, 2:00 p.m., at Wake Forest Baptist with a reception following with the family in the church’s fellowship hall.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please consider gifts in memory to these groups that Bobbie loved: Transitions LifeCare (transitionslifecare.org), Wake Forest Baptist Church (wakeforestbaptistchurch.org), First Baptist Church of Wilmington’s Prison Ministry (fbcwilmington.org) or Purr Partners Feline Rescue (purrpartners.org).
A service of Bright Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 405 S. Main St., Wake Forest. (919) 556-5811
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