Gloria Smith, 1925-2023

Gloria Smith, 1925-2023

CHESTER, Vt. – Gloria Blanche Smith, 97, passed away Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, at her family home in Chester, Vt. She was born at home on Nov. 17, 1925, in Valley Stream, Long Island, N.Y., to Harry Pleines and Grace (Wright) Pleines. She attended Mineola High School and New York University. After college, she worked in the Nassau County Probation Department, and married Joseph Smith Jr. on June 23, 1956. Joe bet on the Dodgers to win the 1955 World Series, and was able to buy an engagement ring with his winnings; as a result, the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers team photo always hung in a place of honor in their home. They were married for 40 years, until Joe’s passing on July 10, 1996. They split their time between Hempstead, Long Island, and their beloved “Vermont house.”

Gloria worked in the mortgage department as office manager for Island Federal in Hempstead, and later Empire Bank in Garden City. Her keen intelligence and lifelong curiosity was best demonstrated by her love of reading, and keeping up with cherished lifelong friends, family, and making new friends. Gloria loved to laugh, and she had a quick but kind sense of humor. Her love of history propelled her travels around the U.S. with her husband. Always generous with her time, she volunteered as a plane spotter in Civil Defense during World War II, served as a deacon at the Dutch Reform Church in Hempstead and volunteered at their annual church bazaar, and she was a respected PTA president and a valued 4-H leader in the HUB council of Nassau County. She was a talented athlete in basketball, tennis, bowling, and rifle club, and in later years loved to walk with friends June Parry and Linda Pelkey.

Gloria is survived by daughters Laura Smith (Denis Carpenter), Gloria “Lyn” Smith (Tara Ordway Smith), and Elizabeth LoCascio (Hank); five grandchildren Chase and Brooks Ordway Smith, and Elizabeth, Amanda, and Holly LoCascio; and close family members on both the Pleines and Smith sides. She will be remembered by all who knew and loved her as a devoted and loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend.

She was predeceased by her husband Joseph Smith, her son Lawrence Smith, her mother and father Grace and Harry Pleines, and her younger brothers Harry Richard (Dick) Pleines and Oscar (Buzz) Pleines.

The family would like to thank Hospice of Vermont/New Hampshire for their invaluable assistance that enabled her daughters Laura and Lyn to care for Gloria in her home; the Whiting and Springfield libraries for their steady supply of large print books that allowed Gloria to continue reading, and Senior Solutions for their Friendly Visitor Program through which she met her dear friend, Melissa MacKenzie. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Vermont Food Bank, as Gloria had always donated to this crucial organization.

A memorial service to celebrate her life is scheduled at the family home in Chester on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 11 a.m., with a service on Long Island scheduled for a later date.

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