In Memory

Jane Diehl Balch (Smith)

Jane Diehl Balch (Smith)

Jane Balch Smith

JANUARY 3, 1944 – JULY 17, 2020

Jane passed away Friday, July 17, 2020 after a long and courageous battle with cancer. 
Jane was born January 3, 1944 to Jackson McCaleb Balch and Janet Diehl Balch in Wilmington, NC. 
She was the eldest of their six children.

The family moved to Huntsville, AL, where Jane spent her childhood after her father returned from the war. 
She graduated from Huntsville High School and Auburn University, where she was a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. 
She was teaching at Madison Elementary School in Columbus, GA when she met her future husband, Gibson Locke Smith Jr., 
while he was serving in the JAG Corps at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. 
They were married in April of 1967 and, after a brief stint in Washington DC, moved to Charlotte, NC where 
they raised their family. Jane and Gib were married for 46 years until his death in 2013.

Jane was a wonderful mother to her three sons, Gibson Smith (Patricia) of Pelham, NY, and Michael Smith (Mason) 
and Jackson Smith (Ashley) of Charlotte. Affectionately called “The General” by the boys and their friends, 
she was at every sporting event at Charlotte Latin School cheering her boys on and was always very involved
in their lives. 
The mom of three boys, she always felt like she hit the jackpot with her three daughters-in-law, Patricia, Mason and Ashley, but one of her most cherished roles was being Nana to her “nine perfect grandchildren”: 
Sally, Gibson, Henry, Michael, George, Lane, Mac, Annie and Lucy. Jane was also active in the community, 
serving as the President of both the Charlotte Symphony and the Charlotte Assembly. 
She was also a member of the Mille Fleurs Garden Club, the German Club, the Ladies of the Club book club, 
the Capricorn “Birthday” Club, Charlotte Country Club and St. Peter Catholic Church. 
An avid bridge player, she spent many hours at the Charlotte Bridge Center, where she was a fierce 
competitor and ultimately acquired 1900 points and achieved the Rank of Ruby Life Master in the ACBL. 
Jane also enjoyed playing tennis, was an avid reader and loved to work a crossword puzzle. However, most importantly,she loved spending time with her many friends whom she loved dearly. Jane was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; her brothers, Arthur and Michael Balch; and her sisters-in-law, Kim Balch and Bartlett Sanders. 
She is survived by her sons; daughters-in-law; grandchildren; her sister, Peggy Kelly of League City, TX; 
her brother, Jack Balch; and brother and sister-in-law, Victor and Kat Balch, all of Huntsville, AL. 
Jane was also blessed with numerous cousins, nieces and nephews whom she adored.

The family would like to thank the wonderful caregivers from Annee’s “All Things Senior” that comforted her 
during the last several months of her life – we cannot thank Yveline, Henrietta, Elisabeth, 
Carole and Cerita enough. Mom loved all of you!

There will be a private service for the family at St. Peter Catholic Church in Charlotte. 
She will be interred beside her beloved husband at the columbarium.



 
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07/20/20 08:28 PM #1    

Norma Hinesley (Laughmiller)

So sad to see Jane's passing. It seems like she enjoyed a beautiful and fulfilling life. She will be missed as a friend and valued member of our class of 1962. My sympathy goes out to her family.         Norma Laughmiller

 


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