Sept. 24, 2023
3 p.m.



Guylene Wehunt Smith, 75, of Morganton, NC, passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 10th, 2023.

Born in Marion, NC, on August 13th, 1948, she was the daughter of the late Mary Jo Biggerstaff Wehunt and Otis Guy Wehunt.

Guylene attended school at Pilot Mountain and Salem High School. She received her Language Arts Degree from Warren Wilson College. She was awarded a master’s degree from Appalachian State University. Guylene was a retired educator who touched the lives of countless students, colleagues, and friends throughout her life. Her career in education spanned more than 30 years including time as an English Teacher at Glen Alpine Jr High, Oak Hill High School, Freedom High School, and Western Piedmont Community College. During her time teaching she had some health concerns due to failing kidneys and had a transplant to improve her quality of life. She exceeded expectations and lived nearly 25 years after the procedure. She continued to teach and influence many young people with her no-nonsense style of teaching and the high expectations she had of her students. Guylene cherished sharing her love of literature with her students.

Beyond the classroom, Guylene was a beloved friend to many. She enjoyed getting together with her bridge group regularly. She was also a dog lover and particularly fond of her cocker spaniel Paisley. She will be dearly missed by so many.

Guylene leaves behind a brother, Gary Joe Wehunt and wife, Diane Perkins Wehunt; “hand-picked children” Tammy Schachtschneider Jensen and her husband, Yates, and Lisa Schachtschneider Lange and her husband, Chantz; and chosen grandchildren, Alisa Lange, Trey Jensen, Tate Jensen, Tyler Lange, and Christian Lange. Guylene considered her chosen grandchildren one of her greatest blessings and bragged on them every chance she had.

In addition to her parents Guylene was preceded in death by her loving husband of 22 years Earl Smith Jr., known to many as “Sweet Earl”.

A celebration of life for Guylene will be held on Sunday September 24th at Sossoman’ s Funeral Home at 3pm. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Warren Wilson College, designated for the Guylene Smith Scholarship Fund Post Office Box 9900 Asheville, NC 28815 or The National Kidney Foundation 620 Montana Dr, Charlotte, NC 28216.

Guylene will be profoundly missed, but her spirit lives on through the countless students and colleagues who were fortunate enough to learn from her. She has left an enduring mark on our lives, reminding us that the love of language and the pursuit of knowledge are among life's greatest treasures.

Sossoman Funeral Home and Crematory Center is assisting the family with the arrangements.

Tribute Wall

Leave a tribute for Guylene Wehunt Smith.

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Guylene has always been a special part of our family. Memories of visiting Mary Jo (her mother) and getting in trouble for climbing in the barn where the bull was. Guylene said, “Well you should’ve knew better. “ She was right and I grew to appreciate and love her for her honesty and directness. Love and much respect always.

—Grethel Elder
Beige Candle

—Loriel Poteat

First met her as my English teacher at Glen Alpine Jr High! She was a tough no nonsense teacher but I respected her and learned to love reading. Still have my copy of Great Expectations which was required reading in her class. Later I was blessed to call her family as she is part of my husbands family!!!

—Lori Carter Henry

She was an awesome teacher and a good friend to me at Glen Alpine Jr High late 70s early 80s. Love n peace to your family during this time. Rest in peace Mrs Smith!!

—Donna Halford Stroud
Burgundy Candle

Loved her, she was a tough teacher, but had the greatest respect for her. She and I shared the love of reading, especially‘Harlequin Romance’❤️ she was the Best!, and She and all the Teachers at Glen Alpine are the reason I have so many precious memories!

—Angela Penland Clay
Burgundy Candle

Loved her so much, and Thankful to have had the pleasure of knowing her, and as my teacher at GAJH! She was the BEST and will be greatly missed. Even after I grew up, and out of school, when I would see her, she always knew me and would hug me. I appreciated that so very much! Praying for peace and comfort. She was and is a LEGEND and LEGENDS, never die!!! with love, Pam Cowan

—Pam Cowan McLellan
Burgundy Candle

Mrs. Smith was one of my favorite teachers. She is the reason I loving to read to this day. She made me love the adventure that a book can bring. She will be greatly missed. Prayers for the family.

—Michele Burnette
Blue Candle

She was the best English teacher that I ever had. She was always so nice and just exuded goodness. She was my teacher in the mid '70s at GAJH and I'll never forget her.

—Rick Childress
Burgundy Candle

Guylene was such a sweet lady and she will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and extended family.

—Kathy L Causby

I loved Mrs. Smith. She taught me at Glen Alpine Jr. High. My husband and I saw her at the steak house several years ago. She recognized us. We got to talk about the old school days. I told her she was one of my favorite teachers. I think that made her happy. Prayers for her family.❤️❤️❤️❤️

—Teresa Silvers Lewis