Mrs. Mary Anne Smith was born June 27th, 1912 in Madison, Pennsylvania, a coal-mining town. Her parents, Joseph and Margaret Garella, were immigrants from Turin, Italy. Her father initially worked as a coal miner and later became the owner of a hotel. From an early age, Mary was active in care of the family hotel; she helped her mother with cooking and cleaning. She and her two older brothers, who nicknamed her ?Mer?, lived within the hotel. They were able to entertain the guests in the downstairs dining room and bar.
Mary’s affinity for school started at the preschool age. She particularly cared for her fifth grade teacher, who allowed her to grade the other students? spelling tests. During the summer months, Mary elected to tutor children from the class below her. This love for teaching continued into her seventies. She was a tutor to many families and commented that they often ?adopted? her as a Grandmother!
She attended University of Pittsburg, Mount Mercy College and later received a Masters Degree from Duquesne University at age 49! She was proud of her ?Teacher of the Year? Award, received in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
At the age of 23, she married her love, James Smith. Her next greatest joy was the birth of her son, Joseph William Smith. She devoted her life to him and was extremely proud of his accomplishments in Real Estate. She and James moved to California in 1978 to welcome the birth of their grandson, Scott Joseph Smith. She taught reading for the Capistrano School District for six years and then continued to home tutor. In 1976, she was blessed with the birth of her granddaughter, Ashley Ann Smith. Her next grandchild, Ryan Joseph Smith, was born 23 years later. Her excitement and joy was obvious.
Mary’s hobbies included cooking, dancing and listening to Pavorotti. She followed a nutritious diet and felt that this perpetuated her life. She was an outgoing person with friends of all ages. She wore bright colors to match her bright attitude. She never regretted a thing! What an amazing role model for us all. We love you, Grandma.