Rita Smith Ledford, 99, of Eastwood Ave., Morganton, NC died Sunday, April 6, 2008 at Grace Heights in Morganton following a period of declining health. She was born May 9, 1908 in Burke County, and was a daughter of the late William Pinkney Smith and Emma Hutchens Smith. In addition to her parents, Rita was preceded in death by her husband, Elijah Leroy Ledford; a son, Deward Ledford; a daughter, Jean Pless; and a brother, Addie Monroe Smith. She was a member of Hopewell Baptist Church, and devoted to reading her Bible. Rita loved needlework and crocheting, and made several bedspreads for members of her family.Rita is survived by a daughter, Rama Fields and her husband, William, of Gainesville, FL; a son-in-law, Phifer Pless of Morganton; and grandchildren, Anne Wright, Steven Fields, Vickie Pless, Piper Poteat, and Ramona Henderson; 5 great-grandchildren and 1 great great-grandchild; and her special caregiver friend, Barbara Williams.The family would like to express their appreciation to the entire staff at Grace Heights for the loving care shown to our Granny. "She loved all of you."Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, April 10, 2008 in the Colonial Chapel of Sossoman Funeral Home with Rev. Homer Murdock officiating. Burial will follow at New Home United Methodist Church Cemetery in Casar, NC. The family will receive friends Thursday from 10 until 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Hopewell Baptist Church, 1112 Hopewell Rd., Morganton, NC 28655.

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