Dorothy Mae Smith Luster was born November 21, 1940, to Joseph and Savilla Norman Smith. She was the fourteenth of sixteen children born to this union. She was the baby girl and demanded to be treated like the baby girl. In other words, she enjoyed getting “her way” according to her siblings. She was born in the village of the Mt. Morriah community. In the village when one had, all had, and when one needed help all stepped up. At the age of 13, after the passing of her mother, “Miss La”, as she was called, her siblings and the village stepped in to help supply her needs.
Dorothy joined Pleasant Hill AME Church at an early age where she remained faithful until her death. She served on the Usher Board, Pastor’s Aid Society, and the Women’s Missionary Society. There you would find her standing, clapping (offbeat most of the time), and praising God. She truly loved the Lord. She often said that she did not just belong to one church and that the church was in a person’s heart. She enjoyed visiting all churches in the surrounding communities. The Mt. Morriah Missionary Baptist Church was just as much her home church as any place else.
On June 16, 1967, Dorothy married the handsome, John Dean Luster and for thirteen years they raised their six children.
Dorothy attended Mt. Morriah Schools and Peake High School. She worked at Clark County Memorial Hospital, Ouachita Baptist University, and Henderson State University in her early years.
In later years, she thoroughly enjoyed working as a Foster Grandparent for Ouachita Baptist University. She worked at Perritt Primary and Arkadelphia Head Start while working in the program. In addition to loving small children, she loved to fellowship with her senior friends and colleagues.
Dorothy Luster loved God, her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, and friends. She encouraged each one to “put God first” and to “love everybody”. Not only did she say it, but she tried to live it each day. It was not uncommon for her to call and give a list of scriptures for the children and grandchildren to read. Nor was it uncommon for her to call and have Bible study with good friends. When she was unable to attend church services in person, she would attend virtually or ask for a recording. She enjoyed reading the Bible, the Daily Bread and working word search puzzles. She was an excellent cook and she cooked for “everybody” in the community.
She was famous for her dressing, sweet potato pies, and chocolate pies.
Early morning on January 24, 2022, Dorothy Luster received the call that she so anxiously awaited, the call from labor to reward. She was preceded in death were her parents; an infant daughter, Jennifer Smith; brothers Jacob, Vance, Willie, Joseph, George, Eddie C, and Earnest Smith, and sisters Gilberta Eason, Rachel Marie Eason, Corrine Jones, Melinda McCauley, and Lizzie Beard.
She leaves a legacy in her six children, Sheila (Carl) Delamar, Paulette (Charles) Blacknall of Arkadelphia, AR, Phillip Troy Smith of Tampa, FL, Demetris Luster of Bryant, AR, Stacy Luster of El Dorado, AR, and Keith Luster of Arkadelphia; eleven grandchildren, Telisa Blevins, Courtney Evans, Seneca Smith, Stephanie Evans, Charles Blacknall Jr., Ryan Evans, Armando Everette, Statia Luster, Phillip Smith, Jr., Jaylan Luster, Kyonna Taylor, and LaMya Luster; fifteen great-grandchildren; siblings, Christine Quarles of Arkadelphia, Douglas Smith of Little Rock, AR and Cleveland Smith of Malvern, AR. In addition to her loving family, Dorothy was blessed to be raised by Reverend Samuel and Josie Knox Newborn where she is survived by one surrogate sister, Maureen Owens of Arkadelphia; bonus daughters, Debbie Harper, Tressie Utsey, and Cynthia Scott-Yarber. Special friends Geneva King, Dorothy Johnson, Loise Hughes, Thelma Harris, Betty Newburn, and Nancy Dedmon and special nieces, Alberta Beard and Laura Gulley.
Submitted by the Luster Family
Public visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 pm. on Friday, January 28, 2022, at Williams Funeral Home. Homegoing service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 29, 2022, at the Arkadelphia REC Center with Rev. Natalie Thomas, officiating. Interment will be at Pleasant Hill Cemetery.
Active pallbearers will be her grandsons Courtney Evans, Charles Blacknall, Jr., Armando Everette, Ryan Evans, Tyrone Blevins, and Phillip Smith, Jr. Honorary pallbearers will be Louis Ankton, Shunn Harrison, Traci Eason, Everett Smith, Patrick Smith, and Martin Newborn.