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Family, friends accent short, turbulent life
Savannah Smith laid to rest Saturday
The pink urn that holds Savannah Smith’s ashes is flanked by pictures of her as a child and teenager. The reminders of her short life were displayed during her funeral Saturday at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Hinesville.
More than 100 relatives, friends and even police officers, who worked around the clock several days to bring Savannah Smith home, celebrated her life Saturday morning at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Hinesville.
Many of the mourners wore pink, the young woman’s favorite color.
Lindsey Odom, a coworker at the Colleseum Sports Bar and Grill, remembered Smith as always smiling and having an infectious laugh.
“What I will remember most about Savannah was her smile and laugh,” Odom said outside the club where they worked as waitresses. “She was more than a friend to me. She was like a sister.”
Many of the mourners met at the club to drive to the service together.
“She is gone. All we can do is pray he gets what he deserves,” Odom said, referring to Smith’s former boyfriend, Maurice Newsome. “She didn’t have to die this way.”
Newsome has been charged with murder for allegedly shooting Smith during an argument last month.
Jodee Carlen, Smith’s supervisor, said Smith’s family can hopefully find some closure in Saturday’s celebration of her life.
“She is finally at rest. It’s not an easy thing, but her parents can finally get some rest in knowing we are going to celebrate her life today.”
Carlen also expressed hope that Smith’s death, which is believed to have been a domestic violence case, was not in vain.
“If we can help one person out of a domestic violence situation then Savannah did not die for nothing.”
A pink urn containing the young woman’s ashes was flanked by photos of her as a child and a teenager. All were displayed in front of the altar of the church.
The service, which lasted a little over a half an hour, was punctuated with remembrances from family and friends of her short life. Her brother, Daniel Upchurch, read a poem to his sister entitled “Nevaeh,” “heaven” spelled backward.
“Savannah I am giving you peace, now please give me all of your pain.”
Terry and Odessa Upchurch, Smith’s parents, wiped tears from their eyes as friends spoke fondly of the 22-year-old’s short, but turbulent life.
Savannah Smith’s body was found June 18 just west of Hinesville, about 10 days after she had last been seen alive. She was first reported missing June 10 when she did not show up for work.
Newsome was arrested in Atlanta on June 17 and was originally held on assault charges until autopsy reports indicated Smith had been shot. He has been denied bond and is being held pending further legal action.

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