Rita Woodward Godwin Smith Denton, 90, born in Fort Worth, Texas, January 11, 1930, died February 11, 2020 in Vero Beach, Florida.

She is survived by her husband Robert L. (Bobby) Denton of Madison, MS, a half-sister, Eddie Gay (Mrs. Darrell) Johnson of Fort Worth, Texas, four children, Cindy Godwin Hart, Leigh Godwin Keener and husband Don Keener, Jim Godwin and wife Teresa Godwin and Bruce Godwin and wife Kelly Godwin, step-daughter Vivian Meredith, seven grandchildren, Kristi Hart Ladd and husband Benji Ladd, Kathi Hart Chastain, Haley Trammell Collins and husband Scott Collins, Shauna Godwin, Will Keener, Gabrielle Godwin, Kyle Godwin, step-grandsons Robert L. Denton, Ill (Trey) and wife Dr. Julie W. Denton, and Clarke Meredith and five great grandchildren, Asher Chastain, Emery Ladd, Brayden Collins, Jesse Ladd, Maddie Collins, and Hadley Ladd, and many wonderful cousins in Texas. She counted her many and greatly loved friends as family.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. William M. Smith.

Rita graduated from Central High School in Jackson, Mississippi (1946), and Navarro College in Texas (where her uncle founded four colleges) as an honor student and held leadership positions in both.

She loved the Lord and held local and Diocesan offices while serving him. The love of her children and grandchildren was Heaven on earth. Her beloved husband, Bobby, provided the last years of happiness. Her final desire was for all to love the Lord as much as she did.

Funeral services for Rita Woodward Godwin Smith Denton will be conducted Sunday afternoon, February 16, 2020, at 3:00 o'clock, at Mount Vernon Baptist Church. The body will lie in state, at the church, from 2:00 until 3:00 o'clock. Officiating will be Reverend Bud Russell. Burial will follow in Mount Lawn Memorial Park and Garden.

The family will receive friends Saturday afternoon from 5:00 until 7:00 o'clock, at Hampton Funeral Service.

Memorial contributions may be made to Mount Vernon Baptist Church, 3505 Bamboo Road, Boone, North Carolina, 28607.

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