Martha Smith, 93

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 3:30pm

Smith family matriarch, Martha L. Smith, 93, passed away peacefully at home as she wished to do on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, surrounded by family.

Born August 30, 1926 in Mason City, Illinois, she grew up on a farm until joining the Nursing Cadet Corps of Springfield, Illinois. Through additional training in Washington, DC, she achieved her professional degree as a Registered Nurse. While in DC, she met and married Stanley N. Smith of Block Island, who was serving in the U.S. Army.

Martha joined with her husband in traveling the world while building a family and continuing her nursing career. She was employed as an R.N. in all the places they were stationed, including the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, Formosa (Taiwan), and later in the Congo in Africa as a school nurse.

Upon Stanley’s retirement from the military, they returned to the U.S., family in tow, to settle in Gainesville, Virginia, where she joined a general practitioner’s office until moving to Block Island in 1972. Upon settling once again, she was employed as a clerk at the Block Island Power Company for 10 years, then as clerk for the Board of Tax Assessors on Block Island for 30 years. She retired from public service in her 70s to follow her passion of genealogy and continue to build her and Stanley’s ancestry.

She was predeceased by her husband Stanley and is survived by her four children, Cheryl VanLuven of Block Island, Wesley Smith and wife Susan MacMillan of Woodstock Valley, Conn. and Block Island, Donna Smith and husband Ray Boucher of Block Island, and Alan Smith of Rhode Island; as well as a combination of 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Martha was respected and admired and will be missed by many.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made specifically to the Block Island Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 214, Block Island, R.I. 02807 and/or the National Alliance on Mental Illness – Block Island, P.O. Box 1719, Block Island, R.I. 02807.