Claudette DuBose, 79: Sense of style was big, colorful

All things big, sparkly and colorful.

That is how Claudette DuBose, known for her distinctive and vivacious sense of style, decorated her life.

Her favorite colors were pink, blue and white, and she decorated herself with — among other things — everything from large costume jewelry to bright, colorful flowers, said her daughter-in-law, Susan Criswell DuBose, of Dacula.

“Everything was always big or sparkly,” she said. “Her house is completely blue, white and pink. And her car always had flowers in it. She was very vibrant and flamboyant.”

DuBose’s sense of style was unique and embellished, proving to be a perfect match to her cheerful and spirited personality. Regardless of what she was doing, she always demanded attention, said her son, James W. DuBose III.

“It didn’t matter where she was, she was always the best dressed and the most flamboyant,” he said. “She was like the epitome of a bedazzler.”

Claudette Smith DuBose, of Dunwoody, died Wednesday of natural causes at St. Joseph’s Hospital of Atlanta. She was 79. A reception is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday and her funeral will follow at 11 a.m. at Dunwoody Baptist Church. H.M. Patterson & Son-Oglethorpe Hill Chapel was in charge of cremation arrangements.

Having played tennis for most of her life, the fashionista was a talented and competitive athlete, playing on several high-level teams at the Atlanta Athletic Club until painful knees forced her out of the game, her daughter-in-law said.

But her withdrawal was only physical, for she soon started what she referred to as the “lunch bunch” with her friends and former teammates, often getting together to play their own “game,” James DuBose said.

“She’d call and say that she was going to play tennis,” he said. “But what they’d really do is go watch the younger players and have lunch.”

DuBose was a longtime member of Dunwoody Baptist Church, where she enjoyed being involved with the church’s youth. For many years, she taught Sunday school classes, was active with vacation Bible school and sang in the church’s choir, said longtime friend, Carole Pool.

“She did everything she possibly could,” she said. “Pretty much every time they opened the doors, Claudette was there.”

To those who knew her, DuBose adored her family and enjoyed doing things for others. Her radiant smile was a fixture until the end and her infectious spirit won’t soon be forgotten, Pool said.

“The woman should have been an actress,” she said with a laugh. “She always left a lasting impression and was quite a character.”

In addition to her son, DuBose is survived by a sister, Shelby Smith Singleton, of Decatur; three brothers, Dwight Smith, of Toccoa, Donnell Smith, of Largo, Fla., and Don Smith, of Athens; and two grandchildren.

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