Denise Smith was born April 18, 1959, in Columbus, OH. She was the oldest of two children. Denise was called home on Monday, January 28, 2019. Denise first accepted Christ in 1988 when she joined the Round Oak Missionary Baptist Church, pastored by the Rev. Lionel P. Pointer, Jr. More recently she was a member of the Emory Fellowship Church in Washington, D.C. before reuniting with "The Oak" in Novem ber of 2018. Denise attended church faithfully and enjoyed fellowshipping with her church family.
She grew up in Cleveland with her parents and younger brother, Warren, where her father was the school superintendent and her mother was a school teacher. Her father owned a rooming house where the legendary Jim Brown resided. Denise moved from Cleveland to the DMV where she resided in the Kemp Mill area of Silver Spring, MD. Her father landed a job with the US Department of Education where he later became the United States Secretary of Education. Denise and her family enjoyed traveling and during her teenage years they visited the United Kingdom, continental Europe and many other exotic locations.
Denise was educated in the Montgomery County school system and graduated from Northwood High School where she was a member of the track team. From Northwood, she went on to the nation's first his torically black university, Cheyney University in Cheyney, Pennsylvania, where she pledged AKA, Delta Iota chapter in 1977. After a year at Cheyney she decided to come closer to home and attend University of Maryland Baltimore County (VMBC) where she studied for three years. She was the grand basileus ·of the Lambda Phi chapter in 1979. She later graduated from University of Maryland College Park in 1983, earning her degree in English/Journalism. She became a certified paralegal in 1985 after graduating from the Paralegal Institute of Washington, D.C. Denise began her professional career as an editor with the law firm of Weinberg & Green in Baltimore, MD. She worked for a federal contractor as an editor and proof-reader in Bethesda, MD. She then moved on to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation(FDIC), Washington D.C. She worked for the federal government for years.
Following graduation, Denise moved to Baltimore City where she lived until she married in 1988 to Michael Withers. Their daughter Eryn, whom she affectionately called "sweetie girl" was born in August of 1989. After marriage they lived in Olney, MD and then moved back to Baltimore in 1990 where she remained until 1995 when she returned to the Silver Spring area. Denise and Michael were divorced in 2009. She never remarried.
Denise enjoyed reading and writing. She also wrote poetry from time to time. She dabbled in graphic de sign as well. She loved to travel and try new things. Denise was very fun loving and free spirited.
Denise was preceded in death by her parents William Smith and Mable Madison Smith. She is also survived by her daughter Eryn Withers Barnes; son-in-law Tavon Barnes; grandsons Tate and Taye Barnes, with another on the way; brothers Warren Smith and Craig Boone, her; sister, Katania Boone; stepmother, Audrey Smith and a host of nieces and nephews. She also leaves behind her best friend Brenda Miles and special friend Elzie "Lee" Thornton who was by her side until the end.