Reba McEntire's mother, Jacqueline Smith, died in March 2020, and her family was preparing to celebrate her life with a memorial scheduled for Aug. 8 in McEntire's home state of Oklahoma. On Thursday, Aug. 5, the country star shared an update on the memorial on social media, revealing that she and her family have decided to postpone the event due to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the area.
"With heavy hearts, we are postponing Mama's memorial that was scheduled for August 8, 2021. We feel that it's not a good idea to continue with the plans due to the increase of Covid cases in Atoka County," McEntire wrote, asking her friends at home to "help spread the word for us if you know anyone who was planning on attending." "If you knew mama, you know she would scold us to pieces for putting on a memorial on her behalf with so many lives in danger of Covid exposure," she continued. "If and when we are able to honor our Mama, we will let you know. Love, The McEntire Family."
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Smith died at age 93 after a battle with cancer, and McEntire originally announced her mother's passing on March 14, 2020. She posted a photo remembering Smith as well as a photo of Smith and all four of her children — McEntire and her siblings Alice, Pake and Susie — laughing together during a family photo shoot.
"Our Mother, Jacqueline McEntire, made that wonderful cross over into Heaven today," the singer wrote. "She had a wonderful, full, healthy life and was absolutely ready to go. The cancer might think it won the battle but we're giving God all the credit on selecting the time for her to go home to Him. She was ready to see our Daddy, her mama and daddy and all her family and friends.
"Down here, Alice, Pake, Susie and I, grandkids and great grandkids all got to visit with her either in person or over the phone," she continued. "She left knowing how much she is loved and we all know how much she loved us. We are very thankful for all the prayers, cards, calls, visits, the care-givers with their huge hearts, and the time God gave us with Mama." The family honored Smith with a small funeral later that month after originally postponing the event due to the pandemic.