I am saddened to tell you our beloved Mona Sides-Smith made her transition at noon on January 1, 2016. Her loving kindness and wisdom touched hundreds of us so deeply, and I know her lovely spirit will be with us always. Blessings, Maryanne Z.
Obituary By Elaine Orland — Jan 2, 2016 2:20pm
Mrs. Mona Sides Smith (née Lyerla), of Memphis, TN, passed away on Friday, January 1st, 2016.
Mona, raised as a coal miner’s daughter in southern Illinois, grew up as the older sister of her surviving brother Robert (Bobby Gene) Lyerla and left home soon after high school to work at the Pentagon. She had a passion for singing standards, and sang and played drums with big bands and combos on the circuit in the 60’s and70’s. She moved to Memphis after selling her Mississippi newspaper, and worked as a retreat leader and administrator and as an addictions counselor. Her clients never let her stop. No doubt they will be responsible for healing much on this planet. She was a spiritual woman and teacher, and in her later years was married to Robert “Smitty” Smith, the son of Dr. Bob Smith, one of the cofounders of Alcoholics Anonymous. She was previously married to Wade “Toby” Sides of Memphis, among others.
She is survived by several daughters, stepchildren, grandchildren, and one great grandchild.
A memorial celebration will be held at Neshoba Church, 7350 Raleigh-Lagrange Rd., Cordova, TN, 38018 on January 10th, open house from 2 to 4 pm, memorial gathering at 4pm. Mona asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the University of Memphis tagged for the foundation she initiated, the Wade “Toby” Sides Prize for Writing Excellence. This is administered by the Cecil B. Humphreys School of Law.