Her Early Life
It matters not what time the righteous fall asleep, death cannot come untimely to him who is fit to die. God recognizes death not merely as a time in which we pass from mortal to immortality, but as a time to celebrate and testify of the lives of those who have been faithful to his call. Revelation 14:13 says, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
Mother Lola Mae Smith Phenix (lovingly called Ms. Lola by many), was the fifth child born to the union of Mr. McKinley and Rosie Lee Smith, on September 18, 1932 in Paris, Texas. The family later moved to Memphis, Texas where she attended Morningside High School. It was there that she met the love of her life, Mr. Burns Phenix Sr.
Her Family Life
July 26,1949, Ms. Lola united in marriage with Burns Phenix Sr. To that union, eight children were born. The family moved to Lubbock, Texas in 1955. She was a faithful and devoted wife, and a loving and nurturing mother. She was very involved in the lives of her children, and was happiest and most fulfilled when she knew was caring for family and friends. She lived a godly life before her family, and instilled in them an unmatched work ethic.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Rosie Lee and McKinley Smith; husband of 37 years, Burns Phenix Sr, daughter, Carolyn; sons, Paul Edward and Michael Phenix; sisters, Odessa Jordan, Mamie Taylor, and Ruby Person; brothers, James Earl Smith and “Baby Brother” Smith. Her cherished friends; Wilma James, Hattie Flemings and Katherine Stroud.
Ms. Lola began cooking at the age of eight years old. Growing up as the cook in her family, she developed many recipes, and was able to perfect her gift of cooking and household management. She enjoyed holiday cooking and received many requests for her famous cornbread dressing and buttermilk chess pies. Ms. Lola was employed as a domestic worker for several families in the Lubbock area. She was highly sought after by many elite families for her home cooked meals at dinner parties.
She was employed for over 30 years by Attorney William Moss until her retirement. She was instrumental in raising his sons Charlie Moss and Attorney M Mitchell Moss.
Her Christian Life
Ms. Lola was reared at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Memphis Texas. When she moved to Lubbock, she was encouraged to attend church with her best friend, Mrs. Wilma James. She was saved and became a member of Christ Temple Church of God in Christ, under the leadership of the late Bishop W. D. Haynes Sr. She served as the president of the Junior Usher board and a faithful member of the Senior Usher Board. She enjoyed cooking for the church family, selling dinners for fund raisers, and cleaning the church on Saturday mornings. She was a faithful member and served under Superintendent W. David Haynes until her health began to fail and she relocated to Dallas, Tx in 2009.
Mother Lola Phenix was supremely favored with more than the promised years. She transitioned peacefully from this life into the arms of her savoir on August 27that 10:30pm. She lives to rejoice in her memory, three daughters: Rosemary Sampson, Wanda Payne (Eric), and Beverly Phenix all of Dallas, Tx. Two sons: Burns Phenix Jr (Norma) and Ronnie Phenix Sr (Shelia) of Lubbock, Tx. A brother: Paul Smith (Doris) of Amarillo, Tx. A bonus daughter: Betty Richardson Justice (Wendell). She was blessed with twenty-one grandchildren, twenty-five great grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren. Sister in-laws; Mae Ella Ross, Katherine Petty, Margorie McDaniel, Rose Scott, Ruby Phenix and Willie Mae Phenix. A host of nieces, nephews, and friends.