On April 30th, 1961 Annie and James Smiley welcomed the arrival of their daughter Melissia Verdale. The parents instilled in her from a very early age the values of strength of character, the importance of education, and devotion to faith, but compassion and kindness seemed to have been gifts afforded her from birth. Her siblings recall her always seeming to see their blended family as a seamless, harmonious unit, and dote upon her as one of the most kindhearted and sincere people they’ve ever known.
After graduating from Eufaula High School in 1979, Melissia went on to create a family of her own, marrying then beau, Richard Hollins. In April of 1980, just shy of her birthday, the couple saw the birth of their only son, LaJarius Hollins.
Never losing sight of her own goals, Melissia completed her LPN Diploma from Chauncey Sparks State Technical College that very same year. Though she and Richard didn’t quite remain a couple, they maintained a great friendship, bonded by a sense of mutual responsibility for their son, and a genuine wish for each to see the other achieve their dreams. That word, responsibility is another one that would top the list of attributes people in her life would associate with Melissia. Fueled by the want for a better life for her son, and her own sense of achievement , all while working full-time as an L.P.N. in one of Montgomery’s largest hospitals, Lisa as she’s known to most, managed to earn her RN’s degree from Troy State University, in 1990. And in 1994 saw her son’s enrollment in the prestigious Indian Springs School, and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 1998. Any and every employer, if asked, might wax-endlessly at Lisa’s professionalism. The world of nursing gave her the backdrop on which to display her boundless capacity for caring and sincere joy in the betterment of others, seeing her receipt of many awards over the years. But, never was she more dedicated to a cause than when she joined on at Montgomery Children’s Specialty Center. There she found the perfect recipients for her indelible gift, the truly innocent, untarnished souls who found themselves in less than favorable states, and could see a care-givers love, convert to their own strength. Those involved will remember her highly for her tireless efforts there in.
When not living the life of a super-heroine, Lisa was still a true renaissance woman. Those close to her would smile at just how quickly her expertise in NBA basketball would vacillate to a display on her expertise in women’s handbags, then, how her excitement surrounding the newest urban romantic comedy would match that for the newest installment of her favorite scary movie. She could be seen head-bopping to the current #1 R&B, just as commonly as she could be found head-bowing to oldest unknown hymnal. For no matter what, through her best times and her worst, she always kept her faith, and was an avid churchgoer. From her early days at New Mount Zion AME , until heaven called back its angel on October 21st, 2022.
In addition to her father, James Lee Smiley, she was predeceased by one brother, Chester “Pat” Smiley and one sister, Veronica Smiley.
Cherished memories are left to her loving mother, Annie Nell Smiley; her beloved only son, LaJarius Edaryll Hollins: five brothers, James “Lee Mack” Lee Smiley, Jr, Jerome “Butch” Smiley, Theopholus “Ba Bruh” Smiley, Thriston “Don” Smiley and Gary “Lonzo” Smiley; four sisters, Victoria Smiley, Glenda Akinbinu, Doris Morris, Juliette Walker; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.