January 6, 1965 August 15, 2019 Wanda Louise Simpson Smith, known as Martha in the Orthodox Christian Church, of Roanoke, Va., reposed in the Lord early Thursday morning, August 15, 2019. She was born in Lynchburg, Va., to Gerald L. Simpson and Hallie Meador Simpson on January 6, 1965. Wanda graduated from Cave Spring High School, Class of 1983. During her high school and college years, she worked at First Federal Savings and Loan in Roanoke and Blacksburg. Wanda married Gray Smith of Roanoke on July 5, 1985, while a student at Radford University. She graduated from Radford with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1986. Wanda taught in North Carolina public schools until she worked at home as a mother and Baptist pastor's wife. She returned to teaching in 1996 as a kindergarten teacher at Macy McClaugherty Elementary School in Pearisburg, Va., until 2002. Wanda then taught at William Ruffner and James Madison Middle Schools in Roanoke City Public Schools until 2009. She worked as a teacher's aide at Salem High School while she studied Phlebotomy. As a Phlebotomist, Wanda worked for Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital and Solstice Laboratories for four years. She observed, "After teaching school so many years, I needed to stick people with needles for a while." As a Phlebotomist, Wanda was known for sticking patients without them feeling it. She returned to teaching again in Roanoke County Public Schools as a teacher's aide at Cave Spring and Penn Forest Elementary Schools before joining the faculty of Mason Cove Elementary School as a teacher from which she retired on disability in November of 2018. Wanda was a beloved daughter, sister, mother, and loyal friend. She exemplified the "virtuous woman" of Proverbs 31 always encouraging her husband through many difficult times. Wanda was her husband's best friend and partner in the bitter and sweet times, offering jovial banter that kept him grounded. She once quipped, "I've never been tempted by divorce, but I have been tempted to murder!" She was known for her unique perspective on life expressed by a keen sense of humor and quick wit. The day before her death, the hospice nurse asked if her Jack Russell Terrorist, as she styled the family canine, Ben, who was always by her side, "Is he your partner in crime?" "I don't need a partner," this policeman's daughter whispered with a wry smile and twinkle in her eye. Her professional demeanor was characterized by concentration upon her duties rather than becoming distracted by extraneous matters. She minded her own business and never pried into people's lives, unless it involved her sons. As Wanda recently reminded one son who informed her that her inquiry was his own business, "I'm your mother. I gave birth to you. You are my business." When she was received into the Orthodox Christian Church with her husband and sons in October of 2000, she took the name Martha after the sister of Lazarus. Wanda could relate to this saint who was ever busy. "I took her name," she explained, "because she told the Lord to make her sister get off her butt and get to work (Luke 10:48-42)." She once told a priest, "Martha is the only one in the Bible ever to make Jesus cry (John 11:34)." Martha Wanda fought a courageous battle with glioblastoma for two and a half years always maintaining her sense of humor. She reminded a world-famous brain surgeon at Duke, "Without elementary school teachers, there would be no brain surgeons." During one Duke examination, while the young resident was checking her reflexes, Wanda quipped, "When you finish with that hammer, it's my turn." Imagine this young resident's wide eyes when she next asked, "Can I ride an elephant?" He paused pensively, then asked, "Yes…But, where are you gonna get an elephant?" When Wanda had her hair shaved off to wear an Optune treatment device, she told everyone, "Hair is overrated!" She enjoyed wearing funny hats in her classroom, especially the dragon and pig hats. Wanda and Gray were married over 30 years when she asked for a pink Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Gray said, "You'll shoot your eye out" and constantly refused profusely to get such a thing for a proper lady even though he had already ordered it. When she opened it on Christmas Day, and the targets were set up, Gray learned that not only could Wanda cook, clean, run the household, keep the family books, teach full-time, serve at church and a million others, she could shoot too! She was a better marksman than him. During her illness, she typically did not focus upon herself but others often asking about their struggles with various illnesses and misfortunes. Wanda played the piano, especially enjoying hymns from the Baptist hymnal. She wrote a Gospel ditty, "There Won't Be No Roadkill in Heaven," based upon something her husband uttered in a sermon. Wanda also arranged hymn medleys. She found great comfort and inspiration by listening to "Hallelujah Square" sung by the Hee Haw Gospel Quartet on YouTube. In the waning months of her struggle with glioblastoma, she talked about her hope of eternal life musing about all that she wanted to see in Heaven. "Most of all," she said tearfully, "I want to see Jesus!" Wanda Smith was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Moman and Sagasta Simpson; and her maternal grandparents, Lorenzo "Pat" and Nellie Meador. She is also preceded in death by her father, Gerald. She is survived by her husband, Gray; and three sons, Timothy, Andrew, and Peter. Wanda is also survived by her mother, Hallie; and her brother, Kenneth; in addition to her nephew, Quintin; and niece, Casey Jo. She is survived by her Uncle Charles and Aunt Audrey Meador; cousin, Victoria Banks and her husband, Joey; as well as a host of cousins from the Simpson side of her family. The family expresses their gratitude to Dr. Katie Peters and her staff at the Brain Cancer Center of Duke University Hospital, to Dr. Andrew Fintel and the staff at Blue Ridge Cancer Center, Gentle Shepherd Hospice and especially to the many friends and colleagues who showed their support to Wanda during her illness through visits, cards, calls, texts, gifts, food and other expressions of love. The family will receive visitors from 5 until 7 p.m. on Monday night, August 19, 2019, at Oakey's South Chapel with a Pannykhida service at 7 p.m. The Funeral Service will be conducted at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, August 20, 2019, at Oakey's South Chapel officiated by Father Mark Tyson and assisted by Father Christophe LePoutre serving with Father Samuel Gantt and Father Matthew Williams. Interment will follow at the Fellowship of the Inexhaustible Cup in Natural Bridge Station. The family invites those who are willing to make memorial gifts in Martha Wanda's name to these two Orthodox ministries, The Fellowship of the Inexhaustible Cup (FIC), 1950 Forest Oaks Road, Natural Bridge Station, VA 24579 or to the Holy Prophet Elijah Orthodox Christian Church, 144 Wears Valley Road, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863. Online condolences may be expressed at www.oakeys.com.