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.
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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.