Youngstown native remembered for passion, love for life
Helene Smith would be ready to travel at the drop of a hat.
“She’d pack up, let’s go,” her husband Wayne Smith Jr. said. “I would have a tough time keeping up with her.”
But her passion for traveling and meeting new people lead Mrs. Smith to write and publish more than 50 books, along with scripts and plays, her husband said, researching topics that interested her, like Native American reservations.
Mrs. Smith found joy in life, doing things she loved like playing music, researching, learning history, gardening and collecting shells, daughters Laurel and Cheryl Smith said.
“She did everything,” Laurel Smith said. “She was pretty independent.”
Mrs. Helene C. Smith, formerly of Greensburg, died Feb. 24, 2019, in Kingsland, Ga., where she lived with her husband. She was 84.
Born in Youngstown on Feb. 6, 1935, she was the daughter of late John and Francis Snyder.
Attending Mercyhurst University, Ms. Smith graduated with an arts degree, a subject she didn’t pick until her senior year. Three days after graduation, she and Wayne Smith were married.
Wayne Smith remembers the day he met his future wife — she was a senior in high school and he was a freshman in college. Pulling up to pick her up for her date, she stepped out in a fire engine red dress, an image her husband will never forget.
“I started to date her from that day on, and I never quit,” he said.
Together they had five kids and, eventually, three grandkids.
“We never had a lack of being entertained,” Laurel Smith said.
She and her sister, Cheryl, recalled the hats their mom would design and wear and the costume parties they would have after raiding their mom’s closet.
But Mrs. Smith also focused on educating her children by taking them to museums and introducing them to cultural events, teaching them to be independent.
“It was a lot of fun,” Mr. Smith said.
Mrs. Smith was preceded in death by sons Michael and Gregory Smith.
In addition to her husband and two daughters, she is survived by daughter Jennifer Smith and three grandchildren.
Services will be private.
Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .