Monday, August 29, 2011

Lois Murdough Smith - Memorial Service

Lois Murdough Smith (100), mother, friend, librarian and involved citizen of Alfred, New York, died on July 11, 2011 at Wellsville Manor, in Wellsville, New York.

Lois was born in Boston on September 10, 1910. In 1940 she married C. Duryea Smith, III, Chairman of Alfred University's Department of Speech and Drama, and moved to Alfred, NY, where she resided for 67 years. Her husband died in 1977. They had two children, Charles Duryea Smith, IV and Jennifer Anne Smith Fajman, who both reside in Maryland.

In 1932, Lois graduated from Simmons College with a degree in Library Science and became a children's librarian at the New York City Public Library. She worked for Anne Carroll Moore, the founder of children's libraries in the United States. In 1937, she moved to Wellsville, NY to establish the Children's Library at the David A. Howe Public Library. After 34 years as a librarian with faculty status, she retired in 1974 from the State University of New York College of Ceramics at Alfred University.

Lois was active in the Alfred community. During the time when her children were growing up, she became a Girl Scout leader and the President of the Alfred Almond Central School PTA in 1955. Lois was active in theater, working with the University's Footlight Club to support theater productions and being a strong participant in the Wee Playhouse. She was a founding member of the Reading Rots the Mind book club and was a principal founder and member of the Board of Directors of the Alfred Housing Committee. She was also a member of the Amadine Club. Lois was an active participant in the 1989 Nuclear Dump Fight ("Bump the Dump"), which was successful in stopping the plan to dispose of radioactive nuclear waste in Allegany County. In 2006, Lois received Alfred University's Honorary Alumnus Award, given annually to one person a year, for their interest, allegiance and service to the University and its alumni.

In 2007, Lois moved to Wellsville Manor in Wellsville, NY, because of her progressively worsening case of dementia. She resided there for her last four years and was often visited by her many friends and family. When Lois turned 100, her family and numerous friends from throughout the country attended her birthday party at the David A. Howe Public Library in Wellsville.

Lois is survived by her son Charles (Ruth) and her daughter Jennifer (Roger). She is also survived by her sister, Grace Murdough Chace of Chevy Chase, Maryland, and her nephews Bill, Paul and Jon Chace and Jimmy Murdough. She was predeceased by her husband, her four brothers and her parents.

Donations in Lois' memory may be made to Alfred University (Attn: The C. Duryea Smith III and Lois M. Smith Fund), Alfred, NY 14802. The Fund is used to support theater activities at the University. Alternatively, the family suggests that, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to an organization of your choice.

A memorial service will be held at the Union University (Seventh Day Baptist) Church, 5 Church Street (near Main Street), Alfred, at 2:00 pm on September 10th. A reception will be held after the service at the Church Center across the street.

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