Hattie Smith-Miles - Submitted for the USGenWeb by Richard P. Sevier 11/19/2020

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Hattie Smith-Miles - Madison Parish, Louisiana
From Valejo, CA Times-Herald  November 18, 2020

On Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 1:30 p.m., Mrs. Hattie Smith-Miles - our beloved mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great grandmother, aunt, cousin, friend, and community activist and icon - passed away unexpectedly (not related to the Coronavirus disease). Her passing was two days before her Links, Inc. sister Mrs. Kamala D. Harris was confirmed as the first woman of color and first Madam Vice President of the United States of America.

Mrs. Miles was 84 years young. She was born in Tallulah, LA and at age 10 moved to Vallejo, CA. She recently learned that her African ancestry is linked to the Akan people in Ghana. Mrs. Miles has nine children. She married the love of her life, Robert B. Miles on July 20, 1974.She received her Bachelor's degree in Business Communications from Clayton University in 1989; her paralegal studies began at Sonoma State University in 1990 and she received her Paralegal Certificate from Napa Valley College in 1993; and became a Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor after receiving her Certificate in Alcohol & Drug Studies (ADS) from Diablo Valley College in 1996.

Mrs. Miles lived a life filled with compassion and purpose. She leaves a legacy of service to the city of Vallejo and surrounding areas. From 1968-1994, she was a valuable Intake Worker/Paralegal at Solano County Legal Assistance Services. In parallel, between 1980-1988, she and her husband owned and operated the Miles Group Home - assisting individuals with mental health issues. She also started the clean and sober facility - House of Acts - in her home in 1987. In 1989, she ran for Vallejo City Council. Her platform was "A Person for the People," which ignited her movement to initiate an action plan for substance abuse recovery, mental wellness, family reunification, and reducing the recidivism rate in Vallejo.As one of the pioneers in Solano County's movement to advocate for substance abuse recovery, Mrs. Miles had participated in numerous programs geared towards health, wellness, empowerment, and community enrichment. Mrs. Miles was a longstanding member and on the Deaconess Board of Revival Center Ministries in Vallejo. Also, she was an active member of: Black Women Organized for Political Action (Solano/Napa Chapter); Golden Star #90 Order of the Eastern Star (past Worthy Matron at #19); Menelik Court #53 Daughters of Imperial Court (past Honorary Commandress); National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (former NAACP Vice President - Vallejo Branch); National Council of Negro Women (Vallejo Section); and The Links, Incorporated (Solano/Napa Chapter).

She shared her love with everyone she came into contact with. She will be missed and her love will be felt for years to come. Survivors include four sons, Ralph Garner, Ezra Smith, and Edmond Wade of Vallejo, CA and Wesley (Punkin) Wade of Las Vegas, NV; two daughters, La'Rese (Rufus) Wade-Boughton of Suisun City, CA and Rob'Lena (Shay) Miles of Vallejo, CA; three brothers, David George Powell, Richard Powell, and Robert Powell, all of Vallejo, CA; and two sisters, Paulette McNeal of Topeka, KS and Hattie McNeal of Florida; and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and loved ones. Mrs. Miles is preceded in death by her husband, Robert Boyd Miles; mother, Georgia May Thomas-Powell; father, Clarence McNeal Jr.; daughter, Odetta Kimberly Wade; sons, Tilley Garner and Marcel Lamont Wade; sisters, Susiette McNeal and Louise McNeal; and brothers, Adam Powell, Willie McNeal, Clarence David McNeal-Chew III, Charlie E. Powell Jr., James Leslie McNeal, and Isiah Wesley McNeal.

The family of Hattie Smith-Miles requests your presence to celebrate her life and legacy. Those of you who knew and loved Hattie Smith-Miles knew she was a dedicated, determined humanitarian and a social innovator for the city of Vallejo and at-risk populations. In her memory we will honor her with a "Celebration of Life" Ceremony and "Homegoing" Parade. A viewing will take place on Sunday, November 22 from noon to 6 p.m. at Wiggins-Knipp Funeral Home, 524 Capitol Street, Vallejo. Services will be held on Monday, November 23 at 11 a.m. at the Solano County Fairgrounds, 900 Fairgrounds Dr., Vallejo. Within the enclosed area at the Fairgrounds, you may attend the "shelter-in-grace funeral" services from the privacy and comfort of your car via microbroadcasting.For those traveling from a long distance, we recommend that you make reservations at Courtyard by Marriott (Vallejo/Napa Valley) or DoubleTree by Hilton (Napa Valley/American Canyon). We hope you will join the family and friends of Mrs. Hattie Smith-Miles to celebrate her love and life.Please Note: We are enforcing COVID-conscious restrictions. In order to attend the viewing and services, we require: face masks, social-distancing, love, and peace.