Lucy M. Smith grew up in Dublin, Virginia, as the youngest of thirteen children. After graduating from high school, she went to work at the local Hercules powder plant, where she met Richard Smith. They married in October 1941. Richard Smith joined the Seabees in May 1942. Lucy Smith went with him to Mississippi and California until he shipped out to the Pacific Islands.
In 1943, Smith joined the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) and went to basic training at Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia. She was briefly assigned to Newport News, Virginia, and then to Kecoughtan, Virginia, to work in medical supply. When Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia, was completed, she was moved to the medical supply there. In December 1945, she was sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey, to be discharged.
After the war, Smith and her husband lived in Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia, and North Carolina, and had two children. She worked at a number of plants, including a nuclear plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.