Mary-Ann Smith, 92, formerly of Amherst and Nashua NH, died peacefully on December 26th 2016, at home in Santa Cruz, California, surrounded by people she loved.
Mary-Ann was born on February 4, 1924 in Boston. While attending Wheelock College in the early ’40s she met her future husband, Richard A. Smith. "Dick" and Mary- Ann were married in November 1943 in Columbus, Ohio where he was attending officer training school. After the ceremony, the newlyweds attended the Ohio/Michigan football game.
While living in Medford and Lexington, MA, Mary- Ann was a full-time mother to her two young sons, David and Rick. In 1953 the family moved to Mack Hill in Amherst where their daughter Joyce joined the family. Two years later, having outgrown their small house, the Smiths moved to the Amherst Village and Andy was born. Over the next decade Mary-Ann was actively involved in village life, volunteering as a Cub Scout den mother, playing in the town tennis matches, and hosting the annual Memorial Day party.
In the late ’60s Mary- Ann returned to college to become a teacher. At the same time political activism was a central theme at the Smith residence. The house became a drop-in center for youth who needed help or advice, and weekly rap sessions gave teens, adults, and our local police officer an opportunity to talk things out. Mary-Ann attended peace marches in Manchester, New York, and Washington DC. Years later she and Dick joined their daughter Joyce at a Gay Rights March in DC.
Mary-Ann taught 4th and 5th grades for 20 years in Brookline and Milford. She was an exemplary teacher who took the time to know and encourage each student’s strengths.
In 1972 Mary-Ann and Dick moved to Royal Crest Estates in Nashua. After retiring from teaching, Mary-Ann, along with her husband Dick, began volunteering weekly at the Southern New Hampshire Medical Center. The two loved walking through Beaver Brook conservation area in Hollis and along the Maine coast. Their travels took them across the Canadian Rockies, to Alaska on a small ship cruise, to the island of Aruba, and across the U.S. to visit family. They loved visiting with the ever-growing number of grandchildren.
In 2008, four years after Dick passed away, Mary- Ann moved to Santa Cruz to be near her daughter Joyce Smith. Mary-Ann loved visiting the Pacific Ocean, exploring Big Sur, and admiring the redwoods, but always missed New England’s fall foliage.
Mary-Ann was predeceased by her husband Dick, and by a son, Richard C. Smith.
Survivors include a daughter, Joyce Smith of Santa Cruz, CA.; two sons, David of New York City and Andrew of Twin Mountain, NH; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Beaver Brook Association, Hollis NH.