Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Obituary Archives

March 24, 2013

Nancy Jane Fife Smith

PHELPS, Ky. — Nancy Jane Fife Smith, 81, of Hardy, Ky., formally of Bluefield, WV/VA passed away on February 28th, 2013 at Good Shepherd Community Nursing Center in Phelps, Ky.

She was born June 15, 1931 in Iaeger, W.Va., the daughter of the late George W. and Agnes L. (Bean) Fife. Nancy graduated from Iaeger High School in 1949 and received her license in Cosmetology from Little French Beauty Academy in Bluefield, W.Va. in 1950. She became an Instructor of Cosmetology in 1951 and in 1963 along with fellow Instructor, Mary Burnley, became a beauty school owner. In 1967, Nancy became full owner of Little French Beauty Academy where she continued to teach and train hairdressers locally for the next 30-plus years. After retiring from Little French Beauty Academy in 2002, she consulted for the Federal Bureau of Prisons helping to launch cosmetology classes for inmates at the Alderson's Federal Women's Prison in Alderson, W.Va. and as well continued teaching there as a Master Instructor for 4 more years.  

Nancy was active in the National Cosmetology Association and served on the Teacher's Educational Council of the National Association of Accredited Cosmetology Schools (NAACS). As well, she was active in local hairdresser's associations, the city's Chamber of Commerce, and other community and charity events. She will be especially remembered for the time she spent during her 50-year career personally advising and mentoring many local hairdressers and beauty shop owners. She was also a member at Bland Street United Methodist Church.

Survivors include four children, son John Smith of Hardy, Ky.; daughter Maria Smith of California; and twins Brian Smith of Corona, Calif. and Christina Hildabrand and her husband Rick of Gulfport, Fla.; brother George Fife Jr. and his wife Jackie of Pulaski, Va. She also leaves behind three grandchildren, Adam and Dylan Hildabrand of Gulfport, Fla. and Victoria Lee Smith of Corona, Calif.; as well as many nieces, nephews, extended family, friends and former students.

Mrs. Smith was preceded in death by two sisters Juanita Humphrey of Hardy, Ky. and Joan Gibson of Lakeland, Fla. She was also preceded by her ex-husband, the late Robert E. Smith.

Mercer Funeral Home, Bluefield W.Va. is in charge of arrangements with Memorial Service and Internment at Roselawn to be arranged at a later date.

Those wishing to share memories or condolence messages with the family may do so by visiting

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