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100 North Main Street
Massena, NY 13662
Phone: (315) 769-3579
Fax: (315) 769-3570
Shirley Smith

Shirley M. Smith (Russell)

Friday, November 9th, 1934 - Saturday, September 14th, 2019
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RAYMONDVILLE – Shirley M. Smith, 84, a longtime resident of Woodlawn Drive, winter resident of Lakeland, Florida, and recently a resident of Sharon Drive, Massena passed away Saturday morning, September 14, 2019 at Signature Nursing Home in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Shirley was born November 9, 1934, the fourth child of Clarence H. and Marion Beamis Russell. She attended Lawrenceville Academy before graduating from North Lawrence High School in 1951. At the age of 16 she enrolled at Potsdam College, receiving her B.S. in Education. She continued her education, earning her Master’s Degree in Education in 1970. She also completed the requirements for New York State Elementary Administration Certification. On August 21, 1954, she married Alfred R. “Al” Smith at St. Lawrence Catholic Church, North Lawrence, with Father Bartholomew O’Connell, officiating. He predeceased her on April 30, 2000.

Shirley started her teaching career at Gouverneur Central School in 1954. In 1959, she and her husband moved to Potsdam and she taught 4th grade at Norfolk Elementary School for 16 years. After earning her Master’s, she worked with the State Education Department in Albany for three summers developing an Energy Education Curriculum for elementary grades. She returned to Norfolk Elementary teaching 1st and 2nd grades for 16 more years. She remained in education for a total 32 years. As a teacher, she was active with the Norwood-Norfolk Central School Teachers Association serving at one time as a treasurer and on the negotiating committee for many years. Shirley was also active with the Norfolk Fort Nightly Club for many years. She was active within her community as a longtime time member of the Norfolk Women’s Democrat Club and was honored and named “Woman of the Year” in 1980 and was a founding member of the Flower of the Month Birthday Club in 1984, serving as its president for many years. She was also a longtime member of the Lambda Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, serving two terms as the corresponding secretary and several years as the professional growth committee chairperson.

Shirley and her late husband organized the First North Country Community Garage Sale – a tradition that still occurs in the Riverside Heights section of Raymondville. She was a member of the Friends of Norfolk Hepburn Library and enjoyed maintaining her lawns and gardens, attending antique shows, and had a great love for travel. She was a longtime and active member of St. Raymond’s Catholic Church, serving as a trustee, lector, member of the parish council, and member of their Altar and Rosary Society.

Shirley is survived by her sisters, Marion and Ross Martin of Adams, TN; Virginia “Ginnie” and Dick Daby of Winthrop; Rosalind “Rosie” and Carl Randall of Summerfield, FL; Donna Weiser of Gilbert, AZ; Ellen and Mahlon Beach of North Lawrence; and Judith “Judy” Russell of New Jersey; her brother, Richard “Dick” and Linda Russell of Lawrenceville; her sister-in-laws, Ethyl Russell of Brushton and Judith Russell of Ozark, Alabama; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents and her husband, she was predeceased by a sister, Evelyn Merrick; and brothers, Raymond Robert, Lawrence, and Clarence “Junior” Russell.

Friends may call Sunday 11-1:00 PM at the Donaldson Funeral Home, Massena, where funeral services will be held at 1:00 PM with Deacon Lawrence Connelly, officiating. Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery, Canton.

Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley or Church of the Visitation/St. Raymond’s Parish.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Sunday, September 22nd, 2019 | 11:00am - 1:00pm
    Sunday, September 22nd, 2019 11:00am - 1:00pm
    Donaldson Funeral Home
    100 North Main Street
    MASSENA, NY 13662
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Sunday, September 22nd, 2019 | 1:00pm
    Sunday, September 22nd, 2019 1:00pm
    Donaldson Funeral Home
    100 North Main Street
    MASSENA, NY 13662
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Fairview Cemetery - Canton
    190 Miner Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Mary Grant

Posted at 11:12am
To the Family of Shirley Smith,
We are so sorry to hear of Shirley's passing. She will certainly be remembered by all. She was such an enthusiastic, kind and caring person. We worked with her at NNCS.
We are presently in South Carolina for a few weeks visiting family, so we couldn't make the service. However, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Bill and Mary Grant

Daniel Dunn

Posted at 05:54pm
Mrs. Smith was my 4th grade teacher in 1963. Remember her very well.

Joe & Sandy DeFranco

Posted at 07:26am
We are sincerely saddened with Shirley’s passing and send our condolences to her family. Shirley was a most valued neighbor and personal friend to Sandy and I, and we shall miss our continued casual contacts for these many years past our leaving the Raymondville area. Shirley will be sadly missed!

Joe & Sandy DeFranco

Joanna Russell

Posted at 05:27pm
When I was a child I really did not know my great aunt Shirley , I really didn’t know much of my moms extended family, I’m not sure of the reason but now an adult with children of my own she had become close family, we enjoyed her company each chance we would get to Massena, we laughed , learned of family we never got to spend time with , we enjoyed each and every minute of our visit, she loved to hear about the kids in school how everything was going , activities they participated in , she became more like a grandmother to my children, we enjoyed adventures with her and always seeing her smiling face , her soft voice could put anyone at ease , we will truly miss her so very much , I know she is in a great place , and i am sure she is so glad to be reunited with her husband, I’ll never forget everything you have taught me and how much you meant to each and every one of us, she always had great things to talk about, we were so glad to have you in our lives, Joanna,”your man” , Lauren and Olivia Russell

JOSEPH Robinson

Posted at 02:20pm
Such a sweet lady. When I first started teaching at then the Norfolk Elementary School building, she befriended me immediately. My family and I visited quite often when she and Al lived in Raymondville. For years, I used to work the auctions with them. When she moved to Florida, I made a point to visit her. She loved to look at my pictures of my worldwide travels. She will be missed by so many including me. My condolences to the family.

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