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 beyond belief! "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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  1. For anybody who knew my grandma, loved my grandma. She was everything and more a grandma should be…She was always happy to see her family under any circumstance and always was there to meet you with a smile. I consider myself so lucky and privelaged to have her in my life for so long, and she will always be with me. Not only was she Grandma, but she was GG, or Great Grandma, for my Sydni and Brett. Sydni loved her GG so much, as she always looked forward to seeing her and knowing she could always count on her GG for a good laugh (and some cookies). I am going to miss my grandma very much, but I know she is no longer in any pain now and I am very happy that she lived such a long and happy life, and I am a better person for being so fortunate to be her grandson. – Michael (Oldest Grandson)

  2. Marie welcomed me into the family with open arms seven years ago and always treated me as if I was her real granddaughter. She was strong, loving, so funny and full of energy. I loved to hear about all the places she had traveled and visited throughout her life and other stories that she had – an extraordinary life for an extraordinary woman. But more than anything, I loved to watch her interact with her three great grandbabies during the past 2 1/2 years. Her eyes lit up as soon as she saw them and they loved their GG as much as she loved them. I will miss her so very much, as will the family that cherished her. But, she will always be alive in our hearts and minds and we will make sure that her great grandbabies will know what an amazing person GG was.

  3. Having lost my Mom last year at the age of 94 I know how difficult it is. I also know that she and Maria are in a better place. I look forward to celebrating Maria’s life with her many friends and family members this next week. God bless!

  4. I think I met Marie in the early 80’s when Mike and I became friends. What I can remember about her was that she was always smiling and that she always dressed so nicely. She always new my name and always had a warm greeting for me every time I saw her. Mike and Trish you were fortunate enough to have had her in your life so long, even long enough to have met your kids. Just remember she is in a better place and no pain for her at all. Stay strong! Marie you will be missed…

  5. I have lost a dear friend. I loved Marie for her strength, her impish sense of humor, and her upbeat attitude despite many difficulties. She had both great courage and a zest for life. We shared many expeditions around the South Bay, and she always was able to find the fun wherever we went. The last time I saw her, she was having trouble walking or sitting, but was ready to go to lunch and chat despite her pain–I remember that we laughed a lot. I will miss her, and my family sends their condolences as well.

  6. Aunt Marie always had a great taste for clothes and fashion, but more importantly, she was a very thoughtful and caring person. Aunt Marie and my mom kept in touch for their updated news, she always asked how everybody was doing back in Philly. My mom (Aunt Peggy) and Aunt Marie were very fortunate to have each other (and their two other sisters) and they shared the good and sad times. We all love you. We will miss you. Our prayers and thoughts are with you. Kay, Chris, Alyce, and Meghan.

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