Barbara Gilbert, 1946-2014

Barbara GilbertThe Rev. Barbara Jo Benefield Smith Gilbert, 67, of Texarkana, Ark., passed away Saturday, March 29, 2014, in Little Rock.
She was born July 1, 1946, in Haynesville, La., to Herbert and Lucy Benefield. She was the pastor of Fairview United Methodist Church and Ogden United Methodist Church, serving as a full-time local pastor in retired relationship, having retired from the Arkansas Conference in 2012. Before becoming a pastor, she was an administrative assistant at Panola College, Southern Arkansas University and Ouachita Baptist University. 
Barbara found great joy in traveling to Romania with the Rocking Romania organization of Magnolia, Ark., which did mission work for the orphanages in that country. She also volunteered her time as a chaplain for local hospitals and hospice agencies. She was a member of Fairview United Methodist Women and the Fairview Chancel Choir.
She was preceded in death by her father, Herbert Benefield, and her husband, the Rev. Denzil Gilbert.
Survivors include her mother, Lucy Benefield Morris of Center, Texas; two daughters and a son-in-law, Lawanda Smith Bridges of Texarkana and Kendra and Curt Bates of Atlanta, Texas; one son and daughter-in-law, David and April Smith of Carthage, Texas; one sister, Jan Datson of New Zealand; two brothers and a sister-in-law, Bob and Lila Benefield of Logansport, La., and Fred Benefield of Longview, Texas; four grandchildren, Claire Bates of Atlanta and Taylor Ryals-Smith, Alexis Ryals-Smith, and Ruby Jo Smith of Carthage; her “adopted” children, Tony, Patti and Carrie Lyle of Texarkana; her very dear friends, Jeanne Miller of Magnolia, Gail Burnette of Texarkana and Scotty and Luellyn Bates of Atlanta; the father of their children, Bill Smith and his wife Tommie of Carthage; and many other family and friends.
The funeral service was held Thursday, April 3, at Fairview UMC, with the Rev. David Kassos officiating. Burial followed at Pine Crest Cemetery in Atlanta, Texas.
Memorials may be made to Fairview United Methodist Church, 1524 Laurel St., Texarkana, AR 71854, or Ogden United Methodist Church, 241 Pine St., Ogden, AR 71853.