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Julie Smith

November 20, 1948 ~ June 24, 2024

Julie Ann Dufrene Smith, 75, of Lake Charles passed away at 5:07 PM on Monday, June 24, 2024 in a local hospital.

Julie was born on November 20, 1948 in Monroe, LA and eventually moved to Lake Charles where at the age of 12, she met her childhood sweetheart, Gary Smith, who was later to become the love of her life and future husband. She attended Dolby Elementary, Forrest K. White, and LaGrange Senior High School where she was a member of the Gatorettes. Julie furthered her education at McNeese State University where she was a member of Chi Omega Sorority and also attended USL.

After a few years of going their own ways, Julie and Gary began dating in 1968 and were married on July 12, 1969. On March 11, 1973 their son, Jamie Smith (Tara Lackey) was born. On March 7, 1975, another son, Patrick, was born. Patrick was born with Spina Bifida and lived only 2 days. On November 17, 1976, their daughter, Cary Ann Smith Mitchell (Michael) was born.

Julie worked for Dr. Karam as a receptionist, also as a secretary at Probation and Parole, and finally as a secretary at Olin Chemicals from which she retired in 1984 to become a stay at home mom and homemaker which was her favorite job of all.

Julie was an avid lover of cats and was the mother to 14 cats over a period of nearly 55 years. She leaves behind two fur babies, Jack and Scarlett. She also loved plants and flowers. She claimed she had a black thumb, but never gave up planting new flowers year around.

If there were ever more than 2 people at a gathering, Julie would always insist on taking a picture. Some of you may have noticed on Facebook, that whenever she had a visitor during the time of her illness, she always had a picture taken and, in every picture, she is always smiling.

She also leaves behind her siblings, Jim Dufrene (Carol) and Jane Dufrene; sister in law, Lisa Smith Verrette (Dennis); beloved grandchildren, Kaylyn Mitchell, Nathan Mitchell (Kayley), and Josie Smith (Ryan Eubanks); and a special great granddaughter, Layla Mitchell. Beyond anything else, her grandchildren were her pride and joy.

She was also preceded in death by her parents, Lilly and James Dufrene.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation in Julie’s memory to the Hobo Hotel for cats, hobohotelforcats.com/donate.

A celebration of life will be held at 5:00 PM on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in the Johnson Funeral Home chapel. The Rev. Steve Shirley will officiate. A gathering of family and friends will begin at 3:00 PM and continue until the start of the service. An inurnment of the ashes will take place privately in Consolata Cemetery.

Services

Visitation: Thursday, June 27, 2024
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Johnson Funeral Home
4321 Lake Street
Lake Charles, LA 70605


Funeral Service: Thursday, June 27, 2024
5:00 pm

Johnson Funeral Home
4321 Lake Street
Lake Charles, LA 70605


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  1. Candle 1Mrs. Julie was such a blessing to everyone she came in contact with she will be greatly missed!

  2. Jane and Gary, I was so sorry to hear about Julie. She was always such a happy girl when I knew her. Jane, I will always think of her as your little sister. Prayers for the family.
    Donna Craw Miller

  3. Very sadden to read of Julie’s passing. I had the pleasure of working with Julie at Olin. Enjoyed our time together. She loved her Gary, children and kitties! Gary, will remember you and the children in my prayers. May she Rest In Peace!

    • Candle 1Gary, Jamie, Cary, and family – so so sorry for your loss. Julie was such a kind & caring person and I have many memories over the years that reflect that beautiful spirit! Sending prayers🙏🙏🙏 and hugs – Becky

  4. Candle 3Gary so sorry for your loss, we will keep you and your family in our prayers. I remember you guy’s back in school you made a perfect couple.
    Sybol and Jerry Trofinchuk

    • My deepest condolences to all the family members. I am just now seeing this news or I would’ve been at the funeral. I have not even been on Facebook recently very much. Over the last couple years I have been keeping up with JULIE and praying for her. Our prayers go out to all of you.


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