Valda Lucy Raymond Smith, a lifelong resident of New Orleans, LA, born September 19, 1948, entered into eternal rest on February 20, 2021. Valda was the youngest child born of the union between Victoria Jourdain Raymond and Lucien Raymond. She grew up in the Seventh Ward on Benefit Street. Her family later moved to Pontchartrain Park. She attended Epiphany Elementary School and then attended Xavier Preparatory. After graduating from the "Prep" in 1966, she entered Xavier University where she majored in Early Childhood Education. She met Ashton Sinclair Smith, her husband of over fifty years, at Xavier Preparatory. Valda and Ashton united in holy matrimony on June 27, 1970 at St. Gabriel Church. The couple lived in New Orleans East and Pontchartrain Park for most of their union and for a short time they resided in Uptown New Orleans and then in Lawrenceville, GA after Hurricane Katrina. Valda became employed with the City of New Orleans as a librarian in the late 1960s. From there, she went on to follow her life-long passion of educating early learners at both Lafon and Saint John The Berchmans Early Childhood Development Centers. Valda also had her own home daycare center and taught at Audubon Primary before Hurricane Katrina. In her retirement, she became a caregiver for multiple families. Valda is survived by her husband, Ashton Jr; children, Kenyan (Kevin), Keriema (Curtis) and Ashton III; four grandchildren, Jalen, Solomon, Christian and London; two sisters, Ann Parfaite (McKinnley) and Vergie Davis (Roger); three Godchildren, Timothy Parfaite, Melissa Chappell and Rhonda Murray. Also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Lucien and Victoria Raymond; sister, Gayle Keller (Leroy); brother, Gaylord Raymond (Lurylene) and niece, Kara Keller. A Memorial Service honoring the life of Valda "Val" Lucy Raymond Smith will be held at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 6828 Chef Menteur Highway, New Orleans, LA 70126 on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 9 am.
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