Teresa D. Allen-Smith

Teresa Darnes Allen-Smith of Bealeton, VA, formally of Oak Ridge, TN, departed this life February 8, 2018 at the age of 56.  Affectionately known to some as “Tinker Bell”, Mrs. Allen-Smith was preceded in death by her great-grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Claude W. and Ella E. Allen; great-great grandmother, Jessie B. McDowell; father, Henry Ralston Eldridge, Sr.; brother, Eric M. Wright; aunt, Lillian E. Pettus; great uncle, Samuel R. McDowell; great aunt, Jessie B. Hill; cousin, Karen Hill; in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. John Augustus Smith, Sr.; and best friend, Kathy Ann Stephens. Mrs. Allen-Smith grew up as a member of Spurgeon Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Oak Ridge, TN and was most currently a member of Beulah Baptist Church, where the Rev. Verdice Stribling is Pastor, in Broad Run, VA for the last 27 years. As a native of Oak Ridge, Mrs. Allen-Smith attended the local school system, graduating from Oak Ridge High School in 1979.  At a young age, Teresa exhibited an affinity and natural gifts for the arts. She joined the Contemporary Dance Ensemble of Oak Ridge as a toddler, excelling in a vast variety of styles, including, but not limited to: ballet, tap and contemporary. Continuing formal study through high school, Mrs. Allen-Smith‘s graceful technique and ability flourished, performing in innumerable productions through the Academy with the added opportunity to perform alongside with her best friend Kathy. Concurrently, Teresa began her formal study of piano under the instruction of Mrs. Becky Ball, taking on classical, jazz and pop effortlessly as her ability to interpret music with the intent to provoke emotion was otherworldly. Also endowed to play piano by ear, she was able to incorporate these foundational styles as she modernized her own arrangements of black gospel songs.  She concluded her formal piano training instructed by Celeste Varagona. Mrs. Allen-Smith also undertook the study of other instruments, such as violin, clarinet and voice. She played the clarinet in the ORHS band and was a member of the All State Choir the entirety of her high school career. Teresa had always been active in her churches’ music ministry. She was the youngest musician to lead the Young Adult Choir at Spurgeon Chapel. This is where Mrs. Allen-Smith and a subset of choir members formed “The Voices of Faith”, an all-female gospel group, emphasizing the use of intricate harmonies, where Teresa led the group as their sole musician, creating original arrangements as they performed songs ranging from a cappella spirituals to contemporary gospel. Mrs. Allen-Smith carried on her love for praise music throughout her life, and was most recently the Music Director at Beulah Baptist Church at her time of death. Following high school, Mrs. Allen-Smith went on to attend Howard University in Washington, DC, where she majored in psychology. During her tenure at Howard, Teresa, an alto, travelled all across the globe performing with some of the University’s world-renowned choirs. One of Teresa’s most significant performances, however, took place at the White House, under the Carter administration, where Teresa and other members of the Howard University Concert Choir performed for His Holiness Pope John Paul II’s first visit to the United States in October of 1979, commemorating the first time a pope had ever visited the White House in history. Teresa’s unique vocal tone was both captivating and sincere, adding a welcomed layer to anything graced with her contribution. Mrs. Allen-Smith worked for the USPS for over 20 years, enjoyed vacationing on the beach, bowling, sewing, electronics, discovering new music, learning new things and cooking. Teresa was licensed real estate agent in the state of Virginia, and her favorite things to cook were Asparagus Casserole and Rainbow Cheesecake. Mrs. Allen-Smith is survived by her husband, John Augustus Smith, Jr.; daughter, Meghan Francis Smith; grandson, Elijah A. Smith, all of McLean, VA; grandmother,  Alice C. Pettus of Oak Ridge, TN;  sisters: Cornelia Wright of Oak Ridge, TN and Angela Eldridge of Knoxville, TN; brothers: Craig Greenlee of Williamsburg, KY, Henry R. (Andrea) Eldridge, Jr., of Harriman, TN,  Alexander Wright of Knoxville, TN,  Quincy Wright of Oak Ridge, TN,  C. Shawn Wright of Phoenix, AZ, Hubert Wright (Rosie) of  Longview, WA, and Walter Wright of Knoxville, TN; uncles: Willie Fred Pettus of Oak Ridge, TN, Raymond Johnson of Lexington, KY, Richard Johnson of Azusa, CA and H.C. McDowell of Oak Ridge, TN; cousins: the Pettus family of Oak Ridge, TN, the Johnson family of Lexington, KY, the Hill family of Los Angeles, CA and the Barksdale family of Harriman, TN; and special friends: Rose S. Weaver of Oak Ridge, TN and Percolia, “Cookie” Baylock  of Temple Hills, MD. A special thanks is extended to Mrs. Allen-Smith’s church family at Beulah Baptist Church in Broad Run, VA for their ongoing love and support of her throughout the years. The family will receive friends on Thursday, February 22, 2018 from 11 AM to 12 PM at Spurgeon Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, 100 South Benedict Avenue, Oak Ridge, with the Celebration of Life Service to follow, with the Rev. Churchill W. Moore, Sr. officiating. The final resting place will be at Oak Ridge Memorial Park follow the service. A white dove release will conclude the service.

2 Responses to “Teresa D. Allen-Smith”

  1. Lisa Lattimore says:

    Ms. Pettus and family,
    You all have my deepest condolence on the passing of Teresa my friend. I am very sorry that I want be able to be with you tomorrow but you all are in my thoughts and prayers. We see you when I get back in town. Sending much love toyouMd Pettus.

    Lisa Lattimore

  2. Rob Whitaker says:

    I was shocked and saddened to hear of Teresa’s passing. I went to High School with her and remember her from Concert Choir. She was one of the sweetest people I have ever known. And that voice…When she sang it was the feeling of the Holy Spirit just surrounding you, such a wonderful and peaceful feeling to hear her sing. While earth will be a dimmer place without her, Heaven just gained one of the sweetest people ever.
    Praying for comfort for the family during this time of loss.

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