Lena Ellen Smith Cagle, 87, passed away Nov. 5, 2019 at her home in Bridgeport.

She is survived by her husband of 67 years, Alvin Cagle; daughters, Penny (Arlin) Grant and Beth Cagle (Scott Pace); grandson, Clay (Amanda) Sanders and great-grandchildren, Lyla, Jackson and Calvin.

The middle of 14 children, Lena was born Oct. 6, 1932, in Bridgeport, to the late Charles and Lettie Smith. She was also preceded in death by siblings, Catherine, Edna, Charles, Sally, David, Becky, Joe John, Josephine and John.

She is survived by siblings, Martha, Andrew, Herschel, Judy and Pat and numerous nieces and nephews that she loved dearly.

“Give the world your best, and the best will come back to you” was her life’s motto, exemplified every day in her relationship with Christ, her family and her community. Always passionate about education, she served many years as a substitute teacher and worked tirelessly to establish a town library which was later named in her honor.

For years, Mrs. Lena secured funding, checked out books, helped with the summer reading program and served on its board. She was also a member of First United Methodist Church, the Citizens United for a Better Bridgeport (CUBBS), Bridgeport Area Historical Association (BAHA), Bridgeport Literary Club, the Order of the Eastern Star and the Tidance Lane Chapter of the DAR. She loved working election days.

She was a true “doer of the word,” always focused on the joy of others. She visited the elderly and sick, sent notes and cards, cooked and delivered food and shared bouquets and vegetables from her garden.

She fostered celebration by hosting teas, catering weddings and cooking with the “girls” for the athletic teams and a variety of church events. In return, she received the personal pleasure of knowing she was serving as God’s Hands.

Lena knew that your “best” is often in the little things. She will be remembered for her love of gardening, monkey grass, beautiful flower arrangements, Christmas, creative calendars, hand-stitched baby blankets, fried okra, cats and her belief that family traditions and history are to be passed to future generations.

A severe hearing disability gave her a quiet, gentle demeanor, but those within her circle knew that behind the softness, she was their loudest, fiercest supporter.

It is with deep gratitude that the family thanks the angels of Hospice for their support during her final days. There will be no visitations or service. Lena believed that flowers were for the living; gifts may be made in her honor to the Lena Cagle Library in Bridgeport, 401 N. Alabama Ave., Bridgeport, AL 35740.