Janeka Racael Smith was born on January 7, 1984, in Bossier City, Louisiana to the union of Larry and Debra Strogen. She transitioned on May 5, 2022, in Doyline, Lousiana.
Janeka was educated in Garland Independent School District graduating in 2002 from North Garland High School. She earned her Bachelor's in Psychology at the University of Texas in 2007 and received her Master's in Family Therapy from Texas Woman's University in 2012. Among Janeka's many academic achievements, she was very proud of her induction into the National Honor Society and was named to the Dean's List. She was also a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist.
While in pursuit of her bachelor's degree, Janeka served eight years in the National Guard, during that time she deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan as a Unit Supply Specialist. She received numerous decorations while servicing her county ie; National Defense Service Meadla, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, and Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Devise. She was the epitome of selfless service while serving in the Armed Forces.
Janeka dedicated 14 years of service to Aetna. She is known for advocating, supporting, and guiding both our members and our staff. Janeka began her career as a Member Advocate in the Arlington, Texas office. She was promoted to Customer Service Associate Supervisor leading the Resources For Living frontline inbound non-clinical teams. Janeka also spent time as a Workforce Management Coordinator, assisting with queue management, scheduling, and supporting the RFL call center. She strived to make things better for our teams, and create process improvement, as well as her development as a leader. Janeka was always willing to learn, brainstorm new ideas, participate in workgroups and take the lead on new projects. She led with her heart, she was full of compassion and led with integrity. Janeka will forever be remembered for her development of the Career Exchange program, and how passionate she was around others experiencing new roles and opportunities. Janeka was a fierce, compassionate, and daring leader who got the job done. Her footprint will forever be with Resources of Living.
Janeka received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior at an early age and remained faithful until she was called to her heavenly home. She shared her love for Christ with her family. She was active in church, serving in various leadership roles in the Hospitality and the Youth ministries through First Baptist Church of Hamilton Park in Richardson, Texas, Inspiring Body of Christ Church in Dallas, Texas, and St. Mark Baptist Church in Doyline, Louisana.
Janeka was passionate about service in her community and her dedication shined when she joined two organizations during college that had values of service and sisterhood. Janeka, Divine Intervention (#14), was a member of the Eta Eta chapter, Fall 2006 founding Alpha pledge class of the Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Soroity, Inc. Janeka, Swett Supremacy (#9), was also a member of the Rho Delta Chapter, Spring 2007 "Survival of the Sweetest" pledge class of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., part of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. Janeka gained sisters in both organizations and together created several initiatives that made a positive impact on others.
Janeka united in holy matrimony to Jerome Smith, Sr., on June 27, 2015. To this union, two children were born.
Janeka was preceded in death by her paternal and maternal grandparents, and her beloved dog, Peabody. Those left to cherish precious memories include her husband, Jerome Smith, Sr.; children, Josiah and Jeremiah Smith; bonus children, Jerome Smith, Jr., Angeleak Brown, and Jamerica Gladney; parents, Lamaar and Debra Barnes, and Larry Strogen (Pat Gladney). siblings, Noni Strogen-Winn (Michael), Latishia S. White, Janaar P. Barnes, and Ajahni J.B. Barnes; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Smith; brothers-in-law, James Smith, and Dwayne Smith; nephews, Joshua Stills, and Bryson Prater; niece, Aspen Jay Barnes; godchildren, Divine Joy Perkins, Jayden Michael White, and Taylor Rocquel White; and a host of aunts, uncles, numerous other relatives, and a multitude of friends. Her beautiful spirit will forever be cherished in the lives of all who knew and loved her dearly.
To send flowers to Janeka's family, please visit our floral store.