Community loses passionate advocate against drunk driving

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Eva Smith was well-known and much loved amongst law enforcement in Walton and surrounding counties. A passionate advocate and long-time member of Mother’s Against Drunk Driving, she was especially visible during Red Ribbon Week each October, going to city councils and police departments around the county and placing red ribbons to create awareness on the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

For Eva, it was personal. On Memorial Day 1992, she lost her husband to a drunk driver and nearly lost her son in the same accident.  Since then, she had used every opportunity she could to educate people about the dangers of drunk driving.

Recently, she took on another battle – that of cancer. Thursday, she lost that battle. According to a GoFundMe page set up to help with funeral expenses, Eva Smith passed away at 1:58 p.m. on Feb. 15, 2018 of terminal cancer and a stroke. She is survived by her husband, Larry Smith, three sons: James Taylor, Leon Prather, and Bradley Smith; along with several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

According to a post on Monroe Police Department’s Facebook page, Eva’s commitment to MADD began with volunteering after the death of her husband, increasing in 2003 when she dedicated herself full time to MADD’s mission. She became the Walton County Chaper Leader and started a MADD Victim Impact Panel in Monroe. She hosted law enforcement banquents where officers were recognized for their efforts in getting drunk drivers off the roads. She also worked with the Walton County Boys and Girls Club and would go to schools to speak to students about the dangers of drunk driving and she worked to get alco sensors for law enforcement departments. She had remarried and was joined in her efforts by her husband and family. Those who knew her well say her passing is a great loss to the community.

“Ms. Eva touched a lot of folks with her service to MADD and our community,” Monroe Public Safety Director Keith Glass wrote. Funeral arrangements will be announced later per her husband at http://www.meadowsfuneralhomeinc.com.

Eva Smith, (far right) with her family, Loganville Police Maj. Greg Warnack, attorney Sheryl Fambrough and the late Loganville Mayor Ray Nunley on Red Ribbon Week 2012 placing ribbons at Loganville City Hall to help create awareness to the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Photo credit: Sharon Swanepoel

Editor’s Note: No matter where in media I worked, Eva tracked me down to help her get the word out about the dangers of drunk driving. She was a pleasure to work with and had a way of getting others passionate about her cause. She was a true advocate and will be missed.

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