1919 Edith 2015

Edith Smith

November 11, 1919 — November 28, 2015

  Edith B. Smith, a long time resident of Littleton, died peacefully in her sleep Nov. 28, 2015. She spent her last years, days and moments at home on Whitcomb Avenue. She was the wife of Paul E. Smith Jr., who died Oct 8, 2005, and was mother of three. Edith Smith was born in Libby, Montana, Nov. 11, 1919, daughter of the late Susan Robbins Smith and William Porter Boyd,Jr.  Edith spent her early years on her mother’s homestead gaining many practical skills, and her “can-do” spirit.  Her mother and sister Jesse, with step father Leo Gatherers and step brother Lee, moved by horse drawn wagon to Washington State for logging and farming, where step-sister Lorna was born. Edith graduated as valedictorian of her high school in Arlington, Wa. She completed business school in Seattle where she worked and lived, with an exciting  sojourn to work in Alaska, until meeting and marrying her beloved husband, stationed in Seattle by the Navy. They moved East to Paul’s origins so he could attend and teach at MIT, moving to an apartment they built at Dr. Don Boardman’s in So. Acton. Edith was able to work with Dr. Boardman, Dr.Bell, Dr. Harvey and Dr. Westbrook at their new clinic, Acton Medical Associates where she was the book keeper for years. Later she worked for Everett Reed, a family friend, at his business on Russell St.  Edith and Paul were soon able to purchase a former dairy farm on Whitcomb Avenue, making it a tree farm where locals came to “cut-your-own” Christmas tree for many years. Their three children, Stephen, Suzanne and Katherine were raised by a mom and father who were conservationists, recyclers and lovers of nature, books and culture. Edith, who loved to cook, garden and birdwatch, eventually started a healthy foods buying coop and a cheese coop, dividing things out in “Webster’s barn”. Making her daughters’ clothes later turned into making gorgeous quilts, a passion she shared with various good friends in the community. When her children became part of the Unitarian Church she became part of their Women’s Alliance, enjoying crafting things for the Church Bazaar. A highlight of her involvement as a citizen of the town was helping to found and maintain the Littleton Conservation Trust to which she and her husband donated part of their land, a place they thought was comparable in beauty to many vacation spots.  Edith made the best blueberry and blackberry pies from berries picked by Paul; loved Kimball’s vanilla ice cream on top of it, enjoying lazy summer evenings listening to the crickets and savoring life. Paul always said after the first piece of pie: “Well you know the rest won’t keep”, and the pies disappeared.  Surviving son Stephen Smith (wife Joan and son Noah), daughter Suni Smith (children Madrone and Joanna) and daughter Kathy Ritter (husband Krehe) have homes in California. Edith’s surviving sister Lorna Johnson and husband live in Washington state amongst a large extended family. The children, in appreciation of Edith and her husband Paul, would request that in lieu of flowers any donation checks may be made to Littleton Conservation Trust, P.O. Box 594, Littleton 01460; note on check: Edith and Paul Smith land easement 189 Whitcomb Ave. Paul and Edith created a conservation easement on their land, keeping it natural rather than developed. The children will be having a memorial, date TBA, care of the Unitarian Church.      

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