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Obituary: Mary Rita Smith

Mary Rita Smith, of Hicksville, was born on June 28, 1924. She and her late husband John (deceased 1992) purchased a house in Hicksville in 1951. She grew up in Hicksville before moving and then returning in 1951. She would spend the rest of her life in this town and she passed away July 1, 2011 in that very house.

Mary Rita Smith volunteered for the Red Cross during WWII. She worked during her life in Hicksville at Gertz Dept. Store in the Broadway Mall. She worked there part-time at Christmas for four or five years and General Instrument on West John Street, LILCO Credit Union for about 10 years. She attended church weekly at St. Ignatius, even sending her kids to the school there. When her health declined she had the Eucharist brought to her home by members of the church often and she would watch services on television. She was also a member of St. Ignatius Seniors for many years. She often prayed the rosary.

Mary Rita Smith donated to various charities and causes throughout her life. She was a terrific knitter often times making afghans for friends, family, and donating many to nursing homes. She was very generous and kind hearted. She was very supportive of her grandchildren, oftentimes going to her grandson Eric’s hockey games and stomping her feet on the bleachers and pounding on the glass. Her great grandchildren Robert, Kayla, Jonathan and Benjamin meant the world to her. In her final days the only thing she asked for to be near her bedside were pictures of those four kids. “I could look at them for hours she said.”

She was loved by neighbors as well. A neighbor’s children even called her “Grandma Rita” and she loved them as her very own extended family. When her son, daughter-in-law and two of her grandchildren were left out in the cold due to a house fire on Dec. 31, 1987, Mary and her late husband John rushed to pick them up and took them all in for four months until they found a new place to live. She often prayed the rosary.

Beloved wife of the late John E. Devoted mother of Barbara and the late Richard, James and Francine, Edward and Donna. Cherished grandmother of Christine, Scott, Sally, Joanne and Eric. Proud great-grandmother to Robert, Kayla, Jonathan and Benjamin. Arrangements were made by the Vernon C. Wagner Funeral Home, Hicksville. Funeral Mass at St. Ignatius Loyola R.C. Church. Interment Holy Rood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Good Shepherd Hospice, 245 Old Country Rd., Melville, NY 11747 or the charity of your choice.