Ina Eileen Smith was born January 28, 1927, in Steven's County, Kansas. Her parents, Clifford and Maude Smith, raised her and her siblings, Bonner and Donald, in Kansas and Panola, Colorado.
Ina attended Friends Barclay Academy, where she received her call to missionary service. As part of following the Lord's call, after graduation she earned her R. N. from Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing and her B. A. from Northwest Nazarene College in 1954. The Nazarene Foreign Mission Board accepted Ina as a Nazarene missionary, sending her first to Mexico for nine months of language study and then to her first assignment in British Honduras, which became Belize in 1981 when it became independent. Ina served as a missionary for fourteen years.
In her first term, Ina served with two other nurses in the Spanish Benque Viejo Clinic without a doctor, pharmacy, or any modern equipment. She marveled at God's help in healing the sick and leading many to the Lord. Music was always a part of her life. She played the piano, accordion, and guitar, often teaching the church children how to play.
In Ina's second term she was assigned to the Nazarene Clinic in Crooked Tree Village among the Creole people. Over the years many pastors and church leaders have come out of the Crooked Tree Church, a result of Ina's faithful ministry. Ina completely leaned on God as she served as the area's only medical person, treating burn cases, infections, accidents; sewing up cuts in animals and people; helping malnourished babies and children with worm infestations; treating dislocated jaws and fish hooks caught in children's legs; delivering babies and also sheep; answering medical emergencies 7 days a week.
During Ina's years in Belize, she served the Lord and His people faithfully. She generously loved and helped all the people in the isolated village of Crooked Tree. She especially nurtured the children in the Nicholson family in long-lasting ways. Ina brought Clarie Nicholson with her when she returned to the States, and later her brother Sylvester, enabling both to receive the education they so much wanted. Both lived successful lives of service, as did several members of their family. December 31, 1964, after 14 years of service when Ina Smith returned to the United States. She lived briefly in Palisade, Colorado, with her family until she returned to Idaho. She had secured a position at Caldwell Memorial Hospital, teaching the one-year Practical Nursing course so that Clarie could attend Greenleaf Friends Academy. They lived there for ten years, in a trailer house that her father had given her.
After Clarie had completed her R.N. degree and Sylvester had graduated from NNC, they secured private funding and returned to Crooked Tree to serve as pastor and medical resource for seven years. Ina continued to travel the area, riding her motorcycle with her accordion on her back, holding Bible studies, witnessing, and leading people to Jesus. Both Clarie and Ina treated whatever medical need arose, both with people and animals.
Ina retired from nursing at 71 years of age. Throughout her life she served God and His people as a nurse and through her pastoral ministry. Ina is survived by both, Sylvester and Clarie Nicholson.
Ina Eileen Smith's reward is assured. After 94 1/2 years of loving and serving her Lord and Savior, she is celebrating in heaven with loved ones and many whom she brought into faith. Her testimony of God's care and leading has been proven true: "God is so good, and with Him there is always victory".
Funeral services will be held at Alsip and Persons Funeral Chapel on Tuesday August 17, 2021 at 12:00 pm with a graveside service to follow at Greenleaf Cemetery. Viewing services begin at 10:00 am.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ina E Smith, please visit our floral store.