Hundreds of balloons filled the sky over East Thomaston last Friday as family members of Vanissa Smith, along with her fellow coworkers at Standard Textile, celebrated the life of Smith with a balloon release.

Several days after Vanissa’s passing, her family received an invitation to a balloon release event in her memory.

“Vanissa was always sweet and smiling. Growing up, she was the sunshine of our lives and always found the bright side of situations… She was my inspiration,” her brother Bruce Smith commented. “On behalf of our family, I’d like to thank everyone who helped us during this time, and especially Standard Textile. To see the love they have for Vanissa brought tears to my eyes. Her coworkers really thought well of her.”

Smith, 56, passed away on Aug. 14 and funeral services were held on Aug. 17 at the Thomaston-Upson Civic Center.

Miss Smith leaves to cherish her memories, two beautiful daughters, Lydia McKenzie Smith of Thomaston and Brittany Demeritt of Jonesboro; three grandchildren, Jaiden Respress, Kingsten Respress, and Terrell Jaylen Terry; sisters and brothers, Cynthia Drake of Thomaston, Bruce Smith (Angela) of Douglasville, Tammy Smith (Mike) of Thomaston, Bryan Hooks (Shayla) of Leesburg, Sandra Raines Turner (Willie), Gabriel Gray, Bryan Garland, Melinda Murchinson, and Waymond Smith (Sheila), all of Thomaston, Beverly Murchinson of Columbus, Patricia Raines of Kalamazoo, Mich., and Betty Cotton of Roberta; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends that will miss her dearly.

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