June 24, 1920 ~ July 22, 2009
Her life began on June 24, 1920 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her parents Hugh Charles and Mary Isabel Smith raised five children, Helen, Peggy, Rose and George. All of her siblings remained anchored to East Coast. Maria on the other hand met her husband Eugene prior to the U.S. entry into World War Two. Prior to his deployment they eloped in 1942 and married. Her new husband was deployed to England in May 1943 with his Army Air Force bomber unit and they did not see each other again until October 1945 when he returned home to Providence, Rhode Island. Her husband remained in the service after WWII and attained the rank of Major. Eugene and Maria lived in many different locations, Washington D.C., Illinois, Kansas, Puerto Rico, Colorado, Texas, and finally California. As a classic Army wife she managed all those moves while keeping the household functioning normally for her family. Maria's sons both graduated from college a fact she was very proud of.
A former resident of the South Bay and Orange County resident she passed away at her home in Huntington Beach, CA. She battled but lost her fight with congestive pulmonary disease on July 22, 2009. Her family was able to be with her prior to her passing. Sons Eugene and Michael and their wives Sheila and Patti were able to see her at her Emerald Cove home prior to her passing along with her grandchildren and great-grand children. Her son Michael and his wife Patti had the privilege of spending thirty-nine years of shared love with her.
She had the gift of being a classy lady with a good sense of humor which she carried into her work. She worked for over twenty years at the Normandie Club in Gardena. While officially only assigned to reception duties for as a coat check lady she ended up performing on site customer relations and assisting the Public Relations manager with many special assignments over the years. Following her retirement she volunteered as a classroom assistant in a local public school Kindergarten. She loved to complete cross-word puzzles. This was a task she attributed to allowing her a great memory and quick wit, even at the age of eighty-nine.
Maria witnessed with great pride her Granddaughter Tricia and Grandson Michael grow, graduate from college and then enter into marriage. Tricia's marriage to Rich York gave Maria the gift of a Great Granddaughter by the name of Chloe. Michael's marriage to Susan resulted in the joy of a Great-granddaughter Sydni, and a Great-grandson Brett. Maria was known to the children as G.G. a title that always made her smile. She was blessed in 2003 with the addition of the twins Anthony and Alex Harden to the family who live in Kirkland, Washington with their parents Gene and Sheila Harden.
My grandmother was and still is one of the most remarkable women and biggest infulence in my life.
Her unconditional love and support is something I will carry with my the rest of my life and pass onto
future generations. We will all miss her kindness, gentle nature, sense of humor and candy bowl that
sat in the middle of her coffee table that always filled with something sweet like Coffee Nipps.
One thing my grandma would never turn down was a choclate truffle or a chocolate chip cookie.
She always had a sweet tooth. She loved to read the gossip magazines and always kept her mind busy
with crossword puzzles. She was an incredialbly sharp woman. She was very creative, as she once
made her own mosaic tile table and even experimented with painting. Everyone who met my grandmother
always commented on how she always looked so nice and was so well put together. She definitley loved to
browse the stores and window shop. She always looked forward getting her hair done every other Saturday
and attending church every Sunday. One friend said, "She was wonderful person and truly amazed her everytime
she had the privilege to see her". Another friend said, "She was an amazing woman and so sweet". She loved her
two sons, two daughter in-laws, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. We were all so fortunate to
have her in our lives for so long. She will be missed but never forgotten and her family will always love her
"To her grandchildren and great grandchildren, Grandma ("GG") was everything and more a grandma should be. She loved them dearly and they always could count on her to listen, smile and laugh, as well as have candy and cookies readily available. She loved just watching and being with her grand kids and just her presence was all that they needed to be happy too. The memories she has left with her grand kids will be with them forever and her kindness, compassion and love has been passed down to her grand kids and for that, her grand kids are eternally thankful to their Grandma."
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