By Lynn Jones – Celebrating a milestone, Eunice Smith celebrated her 85th birthday with family and friends inside the Mary Singleton Senior center where she proudly volunteers. Born July 24, 1937 in Valdosta, Georgia, Smith arrived from in Jacksonville at the age of 12 years old. She graduated from LaVilla Grammar school and Matthew Gilbert High School. After graduation, Smith attended the College of Medical Arts on Church Street in downtown Jacksonville and earned a nursing assistant degree. After working twenty-years plus as a nursing assistant, Smith stated, “I was ready for something new, I knew how to cook so I decided to open a restaurant,” said Smith.
Her vision came to life in the 80’s with E&H Restaurant formerly located at 1479 Myrtle Avenue. For fourteen years, Smith and her husband Hoover Smith served the community home-cooked soul food. Hoover and Eunice were married for eighteen years and welcomed five children to their union. Smith is currently a member of Eastside Church of Christ, former member of Eastern Star Elizabeth Chapter and has a bevy of grandchildren and great grand’s that dote on her every whim.
During the festivities, Smith was asked her secret formerly for long life, “Stay in school, go to college, get an education. Be obedient, stay prayerful and show love,” said Smith smiling with her children (L-R standing), James Edward James, Annice Jackson, Edna Taylor and Johnnie James. Redburd Photo