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Mary Smith

Mary Frances Smith (O'Neill)

Monday, May 28th, 1917 - Thursday, August 20th, 2020
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Obituary

Mary Frances Smith (O’Neill) of Jupiter, Florida passed into eternal life on the evening of Thursday, August 20th, 2020 at 103 years old. She was with her loving daughter and caretaker Marianne Smith and surrounded by the thoughts and prayers of her family.

A true Irish American, Mary was born in Belfast, Ireland to Thomas and Annie (Hammond) O’Neill and had six sisters and one brother. Coming to the United States as a young child, Mary and her family embraced their new home while always retaining a love for Ireland. Those close to her would remember her insistence that “O’Neill” was spelled the “Catholic” way, with two “L’s”. She also passed on books of her ancestor, Hugh O’Neill, the Earl of Tyrone.

Mary was a graduate of Saint Michael’s High School in Jersey City, New Jersey and worked for the Archdiocese of Newark’s Society for the Propagation of the Faith from her teens to adulthood. She met the love of her life, George Leo Smith Sr., in high school where they were on the same basketball team. George served as an Army Air Corps officer in WWII and later, a professional actor. He passed away on March 3, 1993.

Mary’s gentle, beautiful, and joy filled personality endeared her to everyone she met. She was a supportive mother, devoted sister, loving grandmother, and great-grandmother. She could read an entire novel in two evenings, was a Rummikub champion, and could complete a crossword puzzle in record time! She spent 100 years drinking tea, three times a day; switching to coffee when she turned 101.

She is survived by her loving children: Marianne Smith, George Leo Smith Jr. and wife Joan Parker Smith, her 3 beloved sisters Kathleen Valent, Fran Perna, and Josephine McLaughlin; her three grandchildren: George Leo Smith III and wife Nadia Smith, Katherine Grace Smith-Feitosa and husband Bernardo Smith-Feitosa, and Ryan Parker Smith; and her five great-grandchildren Eliannah Marie Smith, Chiara Mercedes Smith, George Leo Smith IV, Patrick Joaquim Smith-Feitosa, and Aurora Mary Smith-Feitosa (born two days before Mary’s passing.)

A lifelong supporter of Doctors Without Borders, the family encourages donations in lieu of flowers, made in her memory to that organization: https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org

May the Lord Jesus Christ welcome Mary into His divine kingdom and we ask her to watch over each of us until we can hug her once again in paradise. May God bless you Nana. We love you and miss you already.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Location
    Private Cremation
    Address
    4201 Rt. 33
    Tinton Falls, NJ
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Donations are being accepted for: Doctors Without Borders.

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GJ

George L. Smith Jr.

Posted at 12:12am
Mom, I miss you already. You were a uniquely nice person to everyone. Your stature was small (wee Mary) but when you walked into a room you
Filled it up. You always had a warming effect and a calming influence. My daughter Katie interviewed you for one of her social media blogs
And I heard the story of your life told by you (with no exaggeration). From living in Belfast during the “troubles” and dealing with “live fire “by diving under the kitchen table. Your parents had founded a successful business which was forced to close because of the fighting. So daddio traveled to the US to find a place to live. Shortly after your brave mother (Annie) arranged for you and your sisters to hop on a ship to the states.
After WWII ended your soldier husband returned
Having served your new country in the European Theater as an officer. Then your life began. Your first home was a one story “railroad” house on Bleeker street in Jersey City, New Jersey. You had me as your first born and Dad started his journey as an actor. He was a working actor for 50+ years
Traveling a lot while you held our family together.
You were always nice and kind and strong. Dad was successful so you two moved to Jupiter Florida. Where family would visit and you were always welcoming. Dad died too early resulting in your having to live the last 1/3 of your life alone.
But you toughed it out and lasted till you were 103 years old. What an accomplishment!
As time went on I had children and they had children and you would light up when ever we would visit.
No one really thought you would ever leave us but the other night you went to heaven in your sleep. I guess you and Dad are playing golf often
Up there.
Mom I could write on forever because you had such a long and productive life. But I’ll stop here.
I think of you every day and pray to you every night. I know your looking out for us from up there. Everyone loves you mom.
Your great full son George.
CS

Catherine Perna Saum

Posted at 07:42pm
When I think of Aunt Mary, I remember her wonderful laugh and her infectious smile. She was kind and warm-hearted. She lived a beautiful life and her memory will be shared for generations. xo
KS

Katherine Grace Smith

Posted at 02:15pm
My beautiful Nana, how much I miss you.

The span of my Nana's life was incredible, and the arch of human history that she witnessed, unparalleled. She was born in Belfast, Ireland in 1917 when horses and buggies lined the streets, before women could vote, in the midst of "The Troubles" - she remembers hiding under her kitchen table as a child while gunfire rang out on Crumlin Rd. and was always quick to kindly but clearly correct anyone who spelled her maiden name incorrectly, "It's O'Neill with two Ls... the Catholic way".

Nana passed 103 years later in a very different world, one where she was proficient in Skyping with us, watching Rachel Maddow on an ipad and reading books on Kindle with the font magnified so large that just a few words fit on each page... even so, as a life-long voracious reader, Nana would finish a new book every 1-2 days.

When I first started on Periscope, Nana was a regular guest on my channel where live viewers would ask her what D-Day was like, how she remembers JFK and Jackie O, what it was like being married to an actor during the golden age of Hollywood and what it was like to be an immigrant in Jersey City in the 1920s, a time where "Help Wanted...Irish Need Not Apply" signs hung in the windows of countless shops (Nana traveled across the Atlantic with her mother and siblings on a month-long voyage, her name is on the wall at Elis Island, a fact she was always immensely proud of).

A lifelong Democrat, Nana managed to somehow let her feisty, progressive nature shine and her beliefs be known but without ever saying an unkind word to or about anyone else... I'm still not sure how she managed it.

Nana was always gracious, always smiling, always kind and always wanting to learn and grow. She never, ever criticized or complained. She didn't want other people to setup her electronics for her, she wanted us to teach her how to do it herself. I'll never forget this woman who wouldn't let me take her dishes from the table, who would grab the plate with a vice grip and a loving smile and say "I can do it!"

Nana who loved her parents and six siblings, who loved her son, my father, and her daughter-in-law, my mom, her daughter, my aunt Marianne, who loved her grandchildren (myself, my two brothers, Ryan and George, and my sister-in-law Nadia) and her five great-grandchildren. Nana who was the first in my family to meet my husband Bernardo when we had only been dating for two weeks, she loved him instantly.

Even though my heart breaks to think that Nana never got to hold her namesake, my daughter Aurora Mary born two days before Nana's passing, I like to think that just as Aurora's soul was settling into life on Earth, Nana's was departing to a place where she could be reunited with my Gramps after nearly 30 years, and that these two incredible ladies had a snuggle somewhere over that rainbow bridge while making their transitions. It's too early to tell if they'll stay this way but right now Aurora's eyes are big and blue... just like Nana's.

Nana also passed the day before my son Patrick's third birthday, I'm so grateful for the time they were able to share together, born 100 years a part.

Nana, you had your first pedicure in your 90s, you rode on the back of Dad's Harley in your 80s, you danced in the middle of the Yucatan Jungle at my wedding when you were 97 years old. You were more and more adventurous with every passing year. I still can't quite believe I'll never see you again... people will say "she lived such a long, wonderful life" and while it's absolutely true, it doesn't mean I miss you any less. I hope you are a new book every day from a limitless library with your eyesight and hearing fully returned, spending time with Gramps and protecting us from above. I love you, Nana. Thank you for being my hero
+4
JS

Joni Smith

Posted at 10:24am
Loving, kind, intelligent and resilient, Mary Frances O'Neill Smith had these qualities and so much more. Not many women brag about how great their mother-in-law is but I did. Whenever the subject of mother-in-laws came up I would always say I had the best mother-in-law in the world. She never criticized or had a negative comment (and there were many times with me and my family that it would have been legit to do so!). But mom was always loving and wise. I had so much respect for her. She was an open minded progressive smart woman but never confrontational or judgmental. She was so deeply loved by her entire family. Mom provided her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren with countless examples of kindness, gentleness, intelligence and a bit of Irish feistiness that will never be forgotten. I will miss her very much but will never forget her gentle love. - Joni Smith
B

Bruce

Posted at 03:31pm
Prayers ascending for Mary Frances and her loved ones. I last saw her at my niece's wedding and as always, her joy in family and exuberance for life were an inspiration to everyone. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. -Bruce P.
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