Gloria Marie Smith, 94, of 6 Partition Street, Saugerties, NY, passed away Wednesday November 13, 2019 at Ten Broeck Commons Nursing Home in Lake Katrine, NY. She was born in Saugerties on May 27, 1925 to the late Kathryn and Charles Granwehr. Gloria graduated from Saugerties High School at the top of her class in 1943, the Benedictine Hospital’s Our Lady of Victory School of Nursing in 1946, and the Anthony N. Brady Maternity Home School of Obstetrics in 1947. She was trained as a Cadet Nurse, but spent her nursing years as the maternity ward supervisor at the Benedictine Hospital in Kingston, NY. Gloria fell for the handsome and charismatic John P. (Bud) Smith when they met in 1945; they married in 1950.
Gloria was a lifelong member of St. Mary of the Snow Church. She was particularly active in the Rosary Society, for which she happily worked on numerous rummage sales. She also regularly volunteered at St. Mary’s School, and was among the first to get the town’s used clothing store, The Well, established. Gloria and Bud volunteered to run the silent auction at the church bazaar for many years, and in the process developed a passion for antiques.
Outside of her church activities, Gloria was a skilled bowler who served as the secretary of the Sawyer Women Bowling League back when her children were still young. She always appreciated all types of music, and as a young girl played piano for the radio station. And Gloria never met a clothing store she didn’t like, from Fashion Town to Filene’s to Macy’s. Most importantly though, she loved being with her family. In her younger years this included vacations to the Seither camp on the Finger Lakes with the Joan and Al Hopf family. Gloria’s family obviously loved spending time with her as well, since throughout her entire life her adult children frequently returned home to visit. Nobody ever missed a Christmas in Saugerties, and most of the family scheduled vacations around the close runner-up, the July 4th yard sale.
Gloria’s devotion to the antique business (which she passed on to her children) spanned 38 years. She and her husband served as the managers of the Saugerties Antique Center from 1981-2010. She was the “brains” behind the operation (doing all the research on the items) and he was the “salesman”. There were often discussions over how to price items (“But Bud, the book value says….”), as she viewed everything as a “treasure”. In more recent years she still maintained a booth at the antique center. She was especially proud of her antique jewelry and extensive postcard collections (local scenes, Christmas, and fantasy cards). She particularly enjoyed reading the messages on the old postcards, many of which were soldiers writing to their parents during the war.
We remember our mom with love and gratitude for teaching us:
-How to head straight to the back of a clothing store to locate the sales rack.
-To ignore your kids’ feeble attempts to get mom to reveal which one of her kids she likes the best.
-That most of what we learn about how to treat people comes from one’s own example.
-That nobody will care if you put a few antiques “on hold” for yourself if you really, really like them.
-The importance of saying grace before meals as a family regardless of your personal beliefs on the matter.
-That the neighbors won’t really object if they hear Adele or Johnny swim playing at full volume.
-That you can learn a lot about people by sitting on your front porch (perhaps with a small glass of wine) and observing the local activities (Note that sitting outside the Nurses’ Station can serve this same purpose).
-There is beauty and peace in relaxing near the Hudson River in Malden and simply watching the ships sail by.
Gloria was predeceased by her husband of 59 years, John (Bud) Smith, her son, David Smith, and a sister, Ruth Christoff. Survivors include 5 daughters: Susan Paradise (Saugerties, NY), Jane Ellen Smith and her husband, Robert Meyers (Albuquerque, NM), Kathryn Constantine and her husband, David (New Berlin, NY), Judith Hakim and her husband, Stephen (Hurley, NY), and Maria Ricci and her husband, Philip (Norwalk, CT). Gloria had 8 grandchildren: Kathryn Craft, John Craft, Natasha Hakim, Christopher Hakim, Emily Hakim, Elizabeth Hakim, Samantha Ricci and Nicholas Ricci. Her sister, Joan Hopf, also survives.
Heartfelt thanks are offered to the staff at Ten Broeck Commons (especially the Ashokan Unit), Gloria’s home for the past year.
Friends will be received from 4-7 pm on Friday November 15, 2019 at the Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home at 45 John Street in Saugerties. A mass of Christian Burial will be held at St Mary of the Snow Church in Saugerties on Saturday November 16, 2019 at 9:30 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Coach John “Bud” and Gloria Smith Scholarship Fund, c/o Kathryn Constantine, 60 S Main Street, New Berlin, NY 13411. The scholarship, which was established 10 years ago, honors a graduating senior of Saugerties High School who is pursuing a career in nursing or athletics.
To send flowers to Gloria's family, please visit our floral section.