My mother, Vera Griffin (1915-1994) was a kind and loving person. She was an artist in West Texas. She started painting in 1963,working with oils and pastels, specializing in portraits and bluebonnet scenes. She taught art classes in Littlefield, Texas for many years. Several students came week after week paying a nominal fee to paint with her all day. She developed heart trouble and the last ten years of her life were dominated by angina pain, but she continued to paint and to teach. She also enjoyed making doll clothes. She could do this while sitting in her chair when she wasn't able to do much physically. She and my dad, Jay Griffin (1909-1994), who was a farmer, were married for 60 years and died 18 days apart.

You can also read her life story, "Reminiscings"


Jettie Smith (1900-1996) was of one of the pioneer families in the Roscoe area, west of Abilene, Texas. She was the mother of my late husband, Hollis. Her story is told in her eulogy. She was a good and generous person, and was always helpful and supportive. She spent the last six years of her life at the Christian Care Center in Mesquite.


Jettie Elizabeth Hoskinson was born December 24, 1900 to M.L. Hoskinson and his wife, Lucy. Her early years were spent in Blue, Oklahoma after her father had participated in the "run" for land in that area. After the trees burned on his property, dashing his plans for selling timber, he opened a general merchandise store. In 1906 he moved his family to Sweetwater, Texas. She attended school in Sweetwater, and after they bought a farm north of Roscoe, she attended a one room school in Fisher county. In addition to learning the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic, she told of how they learned folk dancing, and how she enjoyed it.

She helped her dad work in the field. She had older sisters who helped out with the housework and the cooking. In 1918 when her father bought a Model T Ford, he asked the dealer to teach Jettie how to drive the car.

There were many children in the family, but those who grew to adulthood were Jettie, Roxie, Tennie, Bessie, Althea, Lillie, Bill and Allen. Roxie Soules is the only surviving sibling.

She met Vernon Smith and they were married on January 17, 1921. In December of that year, Mary Lea was born. About 5 years later they bought the Bozeman farm and Max was born in 1927. After they sold that farm, they moved to Roscoe and Hollis was born in Roscoe in 1932. They moved to the farm north of Roscoe on Cottonwood Creek in 1945.

They were members of the Roscoe Church of Christ. She loved the Lord and her life was spent serving Him by serving others.

She was a hard worker, always busy; working in the field, working in the home, cooking, sewing, mending, and helping those less fortunate. She was always helping people. She cared for her mother when she needed care, and then when Papa Smith needed nursing care, they took him into their home and she lovingly cared for him until he passed away.

She not only helped family members, she also helped others outside the family. The Jobe sisters could count on her to help them can vegetables from their garden. She also found other ways to help them. Mr. and Mrs. Matustek depended on them for help, and they showed kindness to Will and Mary Howe.

She tried her hand at different enterprises. She sold vacuum cleaners and cosmetics. She would tell of making sequined pins and selling them. For a while she worked in the cafeteria at the school helping to prepare the meals. She gave special attention to her young granddaughter who was a student there. She tooled leather and made belts and leather purses and notebooks. At one time she was even a census taker.

Jettie and Vernon were good parents. They sacrificed for their children and grandchildren, and helped them in every way they knew to help.

She could entertain the grandchildren in a special way that made them want to be with her. She would play games with them. They recall how she would take them on a "Magic Carpet" ride, and how she taught them to play cards.

During the summers, they would put a bed outside and sleep out under the stars at night.

She was an avid gardener and grew many lovely flowers in her yard. She would conscientiously water and weed so that the yard always looked well cared for. The perennials that she grew are now growing in flower gardens across the state because she always wanted to share. When she was 80 years old, she dug up a lantana bush from her yard. It is now growing in her daughter-in-law's yard.

She could prepare a nice meal, feed all the relatives that came, and "make do" with just a little. It was always surprising how many people she could squeeze around the table.

In 1973, Vernon retired from farming and they bought a home on Cedar Street in Sweetwater. Jettie became active in community work. In 1975 she helped Thelma Newman, who was the state AARP director, to organize an AARP chapter for retired persons in Nolan County. Two years later she was instrumental in organizing the S.N.A.P. program for senior citizens which provided a nutritious lunch and activities five days each week.

She was interested in genealogy and researching the family history. With her help, her daughter and granddaughters became members of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Jettie and Vernon were grieved by the untimely death of their son Hollis in 1982 at age 50. Vernon died a few months later on March 1, 1983, and Jettie was left alone. When she could no longer stay by herself, she went to live with Max and Carol. After that she moved to a nursing home in Abilene, and then to the Christian Care Center in Mesquite in 1990.

Also included in her eulogy was a copy of Proverbs 31, a description of the worthy woman.

Jettie Smith died in December, 1996 one week before her 96th birthday. She was preceded in death by her son Hollis Vernon Smith and her husband Vernon Smith.

Her family at the time of her death included:

Sister: Roxie Soules

Children: Max Kenneth Smith and wife Carol, Mary Lea Nichols, Former daughter-in-law Patsy Smith Stevens

Grandchildren: Ken Smith, Nita Robbins, Shirley Blake, Doris Stubblefield, Elton Smith, and Karen Stroker

Great Grandchildren: Melanie Smith, Max, Christopher, and Michelle Robbins, Michael and Charles Blake, Leann Cox, Todd Stubblefield, Eric, Veronica, Hollis, and Nathaniel Smith, Brooks and Stephanie Arnold, and Haley Wilson

Great-great-grandchildren: Tilden and Logan Cox

Jettie and Vernon Smith were married for 62 years.

The righteous will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, 'The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.'" Psalm 92:12-15

"The Ballad of the Cross"..
For more songs like this, visit