Georgia Mae Bass Smith turned 100 years old on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. Approximately 75 relatives and friends joined her to celebrate this milestone at the Homestead Steakhouse, which was hosted by her niece, Mary “Mae” Dean-Nelson.
Affectionately known by many as Aunt Noot, she credits her longevity to living a Christian life, as demonstrated by her loving and generous heart, and her willingness to help the sick and shut-in whenever she could.
The daughter of the late Charlie and Mary Burton Bass, she was born in Person County in the Moriah community, and is the sole survivor of four sisters and three brothers. She was married to the late William T. Smith for 44 years. Ho died in 2001. Although they did not have any biological children, she was like a mother to her many of her nieces and nephews, actually raising two nephews and one niece (Lawrence “Bob” Bass of Greensboro; Mageline “Bug” Downey of Rougemont; and the late Walter T. Blackwell, who lived in Durham).
Always a hard worker, Aunt Noot was employed with Collins and Aikman Corp. for many years and worked on the family farm with her husband in Roxboro. She loved gardening and cooking, often sharing her vegetables and wonderful pineapple cakes with others.
She has resided at Eno Pointe Assisted Living in Durham for the past seven years. She says the staff is like her extended family, noting that “They are all so kind and caring to me, and I truly love each one of them.”
A typical day at Eno includes interacting with other residents, conversing with family or friends who visit or make telephone contact, solving crossword puzzles, and most importantly, spending quiet time reading her Bible.
Aunt Noot is a life-long member of Siloam Baptist Church in Rougemont, where she still attends. She noted, I just call my niece “Mae” (who lives close by) and I am on the way.” She has served for many years on the Usher Board, Missionary Circle, Senior Choir and Pastor’s Aide. “I am inspired by Pastor Wayne Johnson’s preaching and I am uplifted by the choirs” she said.
Aunt Noot likes to get “all gussied up” and looks forward to her weekly personal hair salon visits, previously done by Dorothy Cash, and currently done by Pauline Hamlet, both of Timberlake. She jokes that Pauline also spoils her with homemade delicacies.
She says her appetite is good, and she loves to go on dinner outings at the homes of her nieces, Mae, Bug, and Ann Bass Jones, who lives in Rougemont. She says there is always a huge spread of her favorite dishes. With a twinkle in her eyes, she admitted, “I just eat everything I want, and then I take a little nap!!”
She says the icing on the cake is when her nephew, Reggie Bass, drives up from Atlanta, and chauffeurs her to some of these outings in his vintage Mustang.
Aunt Noot says she loves everybody, and she believes everybody loves her! She is grateful that God is continuing to bless her with good health, a good mind, and a positive spirit.