Mary Ellen Smith


Mary Ellen Smith

On Wednesday, November 30th, we lost our Mom. It happened very quickly, and we are still in a state of disbelief. None of us were ready for her to go. We are devastated and losing her has left a gaping whole in our family.

Mary Ellen Smith (Leech) was born March 12, 1945 in Walla Walla, WA. After high school she worked as a pharmacy technician. She met our Dad, Joseph Allen Smith, and they married in July of 1966. They soon started a family, having 2 daughters Erin and Meighan. She was a dedicated mom, working diligently to care for us and our home. She was always home, providing us with warm, healthy meals, making every holiday truly special, and never missing one of our school or social activities. She was involved with PTA, and she was a member of the Firebelles (wives of Firemen).

In her later years, she used her talents in teaching, as she had a unique gift in reaching children with special needs. She worked within the special education program throughout the Renton School District, making a difference in many children’s’ lives. After many years of dedication to her students, Mimi (as we all affectionately called her), retired and spent her days making quilts for her family, sewing, reading, baking with grandchildren, and regularly checking in with her family to ask them about their day.

She was spicy, like the Irish kind of spicy, so the perfect blend of humor and knowing exactly what she was thinking (whether you asked or not). She was funny, strong, smart and incredibly talented in many ways, especially in quilting, sewing and cooking. She could make a mean Strawberry Pizza! We have been blessed with so many of her beautiful creations. Mimi was also quite passionate about animals, most recently her two cats, Harry and Oscar who brought her much joy and comfort. She was an avid supporter of The Humane Society, donating annually on the anniversary of Harry and Oscar’s adoption..

We learned from her a love of books, as she saw the beauty in a book she read to us as children and later her granchildren. Her favorite book was Charlotte’s Web, and she loved to share and read aloud the Little House on the Prairie series. She also enjoyed a good Cozy Mystery with a cat as the hero.

Mary was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Joseph Allen Smith and is survived by her daughters, Erin and Meighan (Randy) and her 6 grandchildren, Kolby, Ryan, Julia, Benjamin, Molly, and Oliver.

She invested everything she had into her friends and family, be it words, deeds or talents. She truly gave her all to those she loved. Not one of us wonders if she loved us. We can only hope that we gave her as much love as we received.

We will have a private family celebration of life for Mom. Please comment and share your fondest memory or her so we can include them in our celebration.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Seattle Humane Society.

6 Responses to “Mary Ellen Smith”

  • Meighan Graham, Daughter says:

    My mother was larger than life. She is missed terribly, I don’t know if there will ever be a time when it won’t hurt. She loved so deeply, how can we not feel her absence. She taught my sister and I so many things, how to be strong, how to care for and be kind to others, a love for those who cannot always care for themselves, a love of animals, celebrating with food, serving family and friends and so much more. Even though she isn’t here, her legacy of loving deeply always will be, as it has been passed down to her family. We will follow her example. We will also continue to celebrate family occasions with her delicious food ( we will do our best), we will curl up with her beautiful quilts that she made all of us, we will donate to and serve our local animal shelters in her honor, we will always be kind to those who need it, and we will always love her. Thank you for being the best Mom and Mimi we could ever ask for. We will see you later, Mimi.

  • Marlene & Rick Akesson says:

    Thank you Meighan and Erin for this beautiful tribute to your Mom. Mary’s family always came first and there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do for them. She planned ahead for their visits and made sure all was ready for them….a place to sleep and all their favorite foods. She was so talented with her sewing machine and made everyone a quilt at some point in their lives. Mary and I bonded over our love of animals. When my son discovered newborn kittens under a bridge, he called me to come and get them. I called Mary and she wanted to come with me to the Humane Society. The Humane Society arranged for the kittens care through one of their volunteers. Mary and I visited the kittens during their initial weeks of care and she decided on 2 she wanted to adopt when they were ready for new homes. She brought them home when the Humane Society had a special adoption in October when black cats were a special feature. Her kitties were still with her when she passed away. Bless Mary for her friendship over the many years we shared. I miss her so much now, but I know I will see her later. I send all my love to her family who she loved so dearly.

  • Jill Byrd says:

    Erin and Meigan – Ray and I are so sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. The last time I saw her was at the MaplewoodGolf Course last year. A group of us ladies invited her to join us for lunch. She was funny and enjoyed everyone’s conversations. We will miss her.

  • Kaye Anderson says:

    I met Mary at least 45 years ago on the first day of school at Benson Hill Elementary School. We became friends from that point on. We both were very involved with Benson Hill PTA and all of the fund raising events which took place to earn extra money for the school activities. We were on committees from the annual school carnival to bake sales to paper drives and compiling and publishing a Benson Hill cookbook just to name a few. Knowing someone for 45 years means you have many memories and stories about them so it’s difficult to chose and narrow it down. As our children got older, we (Mary, Joe, myself and Larry) took up boating. We joined a boating club and had so much fun over several years boating all over Puget Sound and into Canada. It was great fun and sometimes quite adventuresome and we met wonderful people. Mary had a fantastic sense of humor and made me laugh all the time. And, of course, an avid animal lover. Over the years many dogs and cats found their way into the Smith household. Mary was so talented making quilts, cross-stitching and all sorts of sewing projects. Also she was an excellent cook and baker. I was always amazed that she had most of the recipes memorized which was the opposite of me. But always Mary’s #1 priority was her family without a doubt! I send my love and sympathy to Erin, Meighan and their whole family.

  • David & Lori Eick says:

    Our condolences on your loss, Erin and Ryan. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the rest of your family as you adjust to this loss in ‘23.

  • Ben Graham, Grandson says:

    My grandma, Mary Smith, who by her grandkids is known as “Mimi” was a true treasure in our lives. She cared so much for us, and she would show her love for us constantly. She would call us very consistently and never failed to tell us how much she loved us. For as long as I can remember, I was getting phone calls from her and telling her all about what was going on in my life at the time. If I had known that the most recent phone call would’ve been my last, I would’ve said so much more.

    She was big into sewing and quilting. Each of her grandkids have at least 1-2 quilts handmade by her—each with their own special meaning and intricate design. I believe that this was one of her more prominent love languages. Truth be told, she was an artist! She would spend months and months on these quilts just for her grandkids, and every single one of the quilts were kept and treasured.

    She was also a master chef. She always loved cooking and baking for us. There were definitely some house favorites but, one dish that lives on in my heart is Tuna Casserole. Every birthday for as long as I can remember, we had Tuna Casserole at her house. Every visit to her house was like entering the most comforting place imaginable. We were fed amazing food, given a comfortable bed, and as kids she would read to us until we fell asleep. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

    There were so many things I want to tell her, but can’t now. You see, for years Mimi would ask me if was going to go to college, or if I had found a special girl, or what I wanted to do in the future. Many of these things have been happening recently, and it makes my eyes water thinking about how she didn’t get to hear about them. I’m going to college, I have a wonderful girlfriend, and my career is going to be very successful. I know deep down that she can see all of these things happening, I just wish that she could see them from down here. I know she would’ve been proud, I know she would’ve loved my girlfriend, and I know she would’ve had so much to say to me.

    All this being said, Mary Smith was a very kind, understanding, and loving person. She was taken too soon from this world. She still had so much to see, do, and experience. Her memory lives on in the family and I believe that we will meet again one day.

    In loving memory of Mary Ellen Smith,

    Your Grandson Ben.

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