Helen Mae Smith
Helen Mae Smith, a resident of Lakewood, N.Y., passed away peacefully on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, with loved ones at her side. She was 90 years old.
Beloved mother of Jackson Smith Jr., Gregory Parkhurst, the late Thomas Parkhurst, and step-daughter, Julie Smith, she was a joy to her family, six grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many loved friends.
Helen Mae was born Nov. 19, 1927, in Jamestown, N.Y., and graduated from Jamestown High School in 1945. She was a baseball player and enthusiast in her younger years. As a teenager, she loved ice skating in winter, and was also a drum majorette, who continued to twirl her baton well into her 80s.
She was a lifelong member of Bethel Lutheran Church of Jamestown, and sang in the choir for decades. Helen Mae loved singing, and sang constantly. She knew every song in the songbook. She volunteered her time to sing at many of the area nursing homes for many years. She also played piano and enjoyed sharing her love for music with all who knew her, as well as with her grandchildren, and neighborhood children.
Always the adventurer, she was an avid sailor, and could be seen sailing solo, with her husband or with the kids and the dog, on Chautauqua Lake any day of the week in the summertime — any excuse to be on the lake. She also became a student pilot taking dozens of flying lessons in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She also enjoyed the sport of soaring with her late husband Jack Smith.
Helen Mae was an avid swimmer as well. She was the pool manager and taught swimming for many years at the Holiday Inn in Jamestown, and took daily swims in Chautauqua Lake during summers. She even went tubing with her grandchildren at age 88. She was active well into her 80s, and could be seen riding her bike, and kayaking right up until a few years ago.
She also loved winter. She delighted at the sight of the first snow, and always enjoyed the beauty of Western New York winters, despite ailments that kept her indoors in her later years. In earlier times, she could be seen skiing at the local ski areas day and night along with family and friends.
Some of her happiest times, which she loved to reminisce about, were vacations to tropical climes where she, Jack and their son, Jackson, would camp out on St. John, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands. They would often meet with other family members who joined the fun.
Helen Mae was active in the community belonging to the Lakewood Women’s Club for decades, as well as the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club and the Chautauqua Lake Yacht Club. She volunteered at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, and worked as Director of the Chautauqua Lake Association. Prior to that she was the Assistant to the Principal at the Ring School in Jamestown.
She was loved by all, and always enjoyed talking with anyone who would stop in to say hello. Even her elementary school teachers told her, “she always had song in her heart,” and throughout her life, for those who knew her, she was always ready to sing it.
Helen Mae is survived by her son, Allen “Jackson” Smith Jr. (Cara Birrittieri) of Lakewood, N.Y., Gregory Parkhurst (Jane Parkhurst) of Williamsville, N.Y., step-daughter, Julie Smith of Lakewood, N.Y.; grandchildren: Allen “A.J.” Smith III, and Victoria Smith of Lakewood, N.Y., Corey Parkhurst of Lakewood, Ohio, Jessica Parkhurst Grossman (Gregory) of Tampa, Fla., Mark Miranda (Emily) of St. Petersburg, Fla., Alex Miranda of Williamsville, N.Y., Jennifer Parkhurst Hall (Jason) of Clayton, N.C., Kimberly Parkhurst Overton (Kevin) of Cassadaga, N.Y.; great-grandchildren: Ruth Grossman of Tampa, Fla., Zack Hall and Garrett Hall, both of Clayton, N.C., Cody Overton and Nolan Ryan, both of Cassadaga, NY.
She is also survived by several nieces and nephews, and grand nieces and grand nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Allen “Jack” Smith Sr.; son, Thomas Parkhurst; sister, Ione Wragge; brothers: Henry “Hank” Carlson and James Carlson; and great-grandchild, Ellis Grossman.
A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, in the Bethel Lutheran Church, Jamestown. The Rev. Daniel S. Rumfelt, Chaplain of Lutheran will officiate.
Helen Mae’s family invites all guests immediately following the service to attend a reception downstairs in Gustafson Hall of Bethel Lutheran Church.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Helen Mae Smith’s name to Bethel Lutheran Church, 904 West Third St, Jamestown, NY 14701; or to the Chautauqua County Humane Society, 2825 Strunk Road, Jamestown, NY 14701.
You may leave words of condolence to Helen Mae’s family at www.lindfuneral home.com.