Bernice Margaret Smith Caudell

Bernice Margaret Smith Caudell, age 94 of Mt. Airy, called Granny or Mom by most, passed away on Sunday, December 26, 2021.

She was born in Batesville, Georgia on October 13, 1927, a daughter of the late Thad Smith and Dora Barron Smith. Mrs. Caudell was the 3rd of 11 children born to her parents. Bernice married Ponda Caudell in December of 1948 and had 5 daughters. Bernice babysat children throughout some years, worked at Fieldale and then retired from The Northeast Georgian at the age of 81 where she made lifelong friends and her co-workers were her extended family. For the last 10 years, she has resided with her daughter and son-in-law, Martha and Ralph in Powder Springs where she has spread her wisdom and so much love with all she’s met.

The last few years there have been many doctor appointments and lab visits where all those she saw loved her and always looked forward to seeing her. They would have pictures made with her and were considered her extended family as well. Her favorite place to go was to go to Classic Hair Salon where Pat, Tracy and everyone spoiled “Mama Bernice” immensely. She even celebrated her 91st birthday with them.

Some days, she would go to work with Martha at Woodland Ridge Assisted Living where Richard, one of the chefs would always make sure “Mama” ate well. Many of the staff would take time to talk and visit with her. She loved seeing the therapy dogs, Bailey (who passed in 2019), Gunnar, Cooper and Bella. Kathryn, the activity director, would try to get her to go do activities but she preferred staying up front and “working”.

Working was a huge part of her life and she loved being with people. In fact, even days before her passing, she was talking about getting up and going to do the dishes or whatever “they” needed. She had a big heart that was welcoming and loving to anyone and everyone. She was a member of Hillside Baptist Church and to her children, those were the best days from their childhood.

In her spare time, Mrs. Bernice enjoyed cooking, gardening and going on vacation.

Her family was blessed to fulfill her 94th birthday wish of coming to North Georgia and seeing family and friends. They are so grateful to the wonderful staff of Hampton Inn of Cornelia, especially Kendra McCoy, for assisting in making this happen. To Sugartopia for all the goodies. To the family and friends that were able to come celebrate with us, a special thanks to her great-great-granddaughter, Reagan for sharing the birthday day and crown; her great-great-grandson, Branson who shares the same birthday as Granny; and to her granddaughter, Donna, her grandson, Kevin, and great-great-grandson, Nolan, thank you for decorating the “Party Room”.

In addition to her husband, Ponda Caudell who passed away in 1985, she was preceded in death by brothers, Ray Smith, E.L. Smith, J.C. Smith and Bruce Smith; sisters, Joyce Smith, Manerva Smith, Patricia Mott and Sara Campbell.

Surviving are her daughter, Margaret Fowler (Tony); daughter, Ann Pate; daughter, Gaynell Gunn; daughter, Eva Mae Paulson (Wayne); daughter, Martha Mesa (Ralph); numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; brothers, Russell Smith (Joann) and James Smith; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends, all of who loved her dearly.

Funeral services are scheduled for 1 pm, Friday, December 31, 2021, in the Chapel of McGahee-Griffin and Stewart with Rev. Billy Burrell officiating. Interment will follow in Yonah Memorial Gardens.

The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. until the service hour on Friday at the funeral home.

Those in attendance are asked to please adhere to the public health and social distancing guidelines regarding COVID-19.

Flowers are accepted or donations may be made in Mrs. Bernice Smith Caudell’s memory to the Woodland Ridge Assisted Living and Memory Care, 4005 South Cobb Drive, Smyrna, GA 30080.

In true Bernice Smith Caudell fashion, she leaves this message for everyone; be kind, love each other, share positivity and do good.

An online guest register is available and may be viewed at

McGahee-Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home of Cornelia, Georgia (706/778-8668) is in charge of arrangements.

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