Lena Selest Rebekah Smith

February 16, 2019 ~ June 10, 2019

Born in: Knoxville, TN
Resided in: Knoxville, TN

Our Beautiful Bundle of Joy, Lena Selest Rebekah Smith returned home to be with the Lord Jesus Christ early on the afternoon of Monday, June 10th, 2019. She lay cradled in the loving arms of her Mother: Makeya Yvonne Adica Forney with her adoring Father: Thamar Allen Smith close beside them as she slipped away peacefully and her hospital room surrounded by members of her loving family, and close family friends.

Baby Lena was a fighter who came into this world on February 16, 2019! Every accomplishment and triumph earned her beads of courage, all together she earned over 2,500 beads. Every day we were amazed at her strength and her courage to endure everything that her little body had to go through. Lena showed us all her amazing will.

Her fight was long and hard at times for us, almost unbearable. But Baby Lena pulled through, amazing us all time and time again. From the multiple surgeries and with each goal achieved, she made believers out of everybody. She made our faith stronger and our beliefs deeper. She was the light of all who met her; doctors, nurses, attendants, family and friends. She had a feistiness that rang throughout the NIC-U of Children’s Hospital.

She even had a special note for anyone who cared for her. It reads:

“When caring for Princess Lena; I am a Very Bossy Girl and I like to let everyone know it! Please cover me with an Extra Blanket, after my swaddle. My brain makes me cold at times and I want to stay in my crib! I also like my Z-Flow to be wrapped separately than my bed. (I like to be snuggled in on all sides with the Z-Flow) Thank you, “Little Miss” Lena.”

Baby Lena showed us what it means to never give up, and to keep trying as hard as you can because you did it every day of your little life! She was preceded to Heaven by her great grandmothers, Lena Boyd, Addie Ruth Cervantes (Crickett), and Marcella Yvonne Forney; And her great grandfathers, James Burris,Walter Lee Payne and Albert Ray Forney.

She is survived by her mother Makeya Yvonne Adica Forney, the daughter of Rebekah Forney and Anthony Forney; and her father, Thamar Allen Smith, the son of Lacquicia Blair and Eric Burris. Her sisters: Samariyah Katelyn Smith, and Xa’Bella Gayle Smith; her Great Aunts, Gayle Roe, Erica Forney, Cynthia Butler, Shilia Smith-Rogers, and all of her Aunts: Amelia Herrell, Malinda Herell, Maranda Herrell, Kevonnya Bryant, Briana Shipe, Jaymee Harper, and Dezzy Forney. Her Uncle Antonio Herrell. Her Great Grandmothers: Martha Thompson, and Betty Burris, Her Papaw Kinney Carlas Caudill. And her many Cousins: Noah Roe, Nakiia Hawkins, Naviyon Shipe, Abragayle Roe, Abraunya Roe, Messiah Fain, JaMiyah Fain, Demariyah Manning, La’kira Capshaw, Christian Herrell, and Kenzlie Haynes.

We would like to give a very special thanks to the staff at Children’s Hospital NIC-U Unit. Also giving Special Recognition to her Primary Caregiver, Amanda Miller.

Our heartfelt “Thank You” goes out to First United Methodist Church, Morris-Baker Funeral Home, and Monte Vista Cemetery for all the donations and services so graciously provided!

The family of Lena Smith will receive friends from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Friday, June 14, 2019, at First United Methodist Church, 900 Spring Street, Johnson City, TN. A funeral service, officiated by Cynthia Butler, will follow at 1:00 PM. A committal service will be held afterward at 3:00 PM at Monte Vista Memorial Park. Family and friends are asked to gather at the graveside by 2:50 PM.


Visitation: June 14, 2019 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

First United Methodist Church

Johnson City, Tennessee

Funeral Service: June 14, 2019 1:00 pm

First United Methodist Church

Johnson City, Tennessee

Committal Service: June 14, 2019 3:00 pm

Monte Vista Memorial Park
1900 East Oakland Avenue
Johnson City, TN 37601

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  1. Al Meehan says:

    We don’t know you but our prayers are with you and our heart aches for your loss. What a precious life, although short. God will be glorified and you will see her again!

    Al & Carole

  2. Rebecca Palmer says:

    We love you keya … I can’t imagine the pain you are all feeling … please trust God baby he’s the only way… you are all In our prayers love you always

  3. Alicia says:

    Praying for the family and friends… So sorry for your loss.

  4. Shaneka s says:

    Makeya im so sorry about your beautiful baby girl my deepest condolences to you and your husband i pray for you everyday to find comfort in the lord i love you and im here if you ever need anything

  5. Miracle dixon says:

    Keya and Thamar,
    I am so sorry for your lost. But I am here for y’all if y’all ever need anything. Baby Lena is looking over all of us and is having a good ole time with her loved ones. Baby Lena I never got to meet you but you hold a piece of my heart. You are loved but never forgotten.
    The dixon family loves you,
    David, Miracle, Zaidenn❤️

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