Nancy Ann Smith

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Nancy Ann Smith

January 25, 1931 - July 20, 2018

Nancy Ann Smith Nancy Ann Smith, age 87, of San Antonio, TX passed peacefully on Friday, July 20, 2018. She was born in St. Louis, MO, on Jan. 25, 1931, the daughter of Thelma Miranda and Thomas Jefferson Smith.
In her early years she lived with her family in an apartment in the St. Louis suburb of University City and would complete her education there. Her mother was educated as a school teacher and imparted to her many of the rules of writing and speaking, which she never forgot, as her children can attest to. She excelled in music and dance and her family was able to afford private dance lessons as she reached high school. On the table near the door of this room is a framed five-dollar bill with a self-inscribed note that it was the first time she was paid to perform as a dancer and she wanted to show it to her dad. The note finishes with the poignant remembrance, "It was my 16th year".
Nancy's mother, Thelma, died not long after Nancy's graduation from high school in 1948, after which she and her father moved to the St. Louis suburb of Normandy and she secured a job as a teller at a local bank. She continued to pursue dance but she also loved to sing and her voice was certainly capable of professional quality through lessons. During WW II she performed with a volunteer group of singers to entertain at events for military personnel, often sponsored by the USO organization. She joined a semi-professional group called the Light Opera Guild that sometimes appeared as a chorus at the Municipal Opera Theater in Forest Park. She was one of the soloists in the adult choir at Central Presbyterian Church when she met her future husband, Terry Smith, and they were married there. Nancy then joined the office staff at the church and lived the St. Louis area until 1959 when Terry completed graduate school, moved to San Diego, CA, for a year and moved back to St. Louis where Terry was employed as a research chemist.
In 1962, through the services of The Children's Home Society of Missouri, the couple adopted their first child, a boy they named Jeffrey, and in 1965 their second child, a petite girl given the name Jennifer. Nancy was a loving mother who would do anything for her children, and she loved to tell the story of when they were brought home to join the family.
In 1968 the family moved to Edmond, OK, where Terry became a professor of chemistry at Central State College. Both parents were active in the children's activities and Nancy served as a leader in Jennifer's Campfire girls group and also taught beginning ballet lessons at the YMCA nearby. The family also had two canoes and for several summers participated in camping and running rivers with a local club, the OKCanoers.
Since she had lived in apartments most of her life, Nancy had never been able to keep a dog, so she began a collection of china dogs of all types which were displayed on shelves in her room. It was not until the move to Oklahoma that it became practical to have her own real dog, an adult beagle named Holly, whose owner was looking for a responsible home for it. Holly was the start of Nan's having her own dog, which she enjoyed despite their usually short lives, and the house was seldom without one or more furry, four-footed members after that.
Nancy left her children with many important lessons that shaped their lives. She always showed them how special she thought they were and how much happiness they brought to her life, and to be proud of the things that made them unique. She believed that living honestly and with integrity was the foundation of a good person, and she modeled that throughout her life. She taught them to embrace kindness and generosity and to reject hatred and violence, but also to stand up firmly for what they believed in. She encouraged them to find what they were passionate about and to pursue it with vigor, and to always do their best at whatever they attempted. She was tremendously supportive of the things they chose, from Jeff's love of music and piano to Jennifer's love of animals and art.
Nancy especially loved to sing songs from theater and movie musicals, and it was the first music that her children knew. A particular favorite of hers was "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music, and she had several favorite things of her own that will always be remembered: dogs of all kinds, blue onion china pattern, Alley Springs in Missouri, and the amazing artwork of Greg Burns.
Nancy is survived by her husband of nearly 61 years Dr. Terrill D. Smith of San Antonio, TX; son Jeffrey Smith and his wife Ellen Westerhoff of Austin, TX; daughter Jennifer Smith and her partner Sherri Lemons of San Antonio, TX; and grandchildren Chelsea, Ryan and Connor Smith of Austin, TX.
A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018 at Mission Park Funeral Chapels North, 3401 Cherry Ridge Drive, San Antonio, TX 78230.
The Children's Home Society of Missouri is now operating as Family Forward, 1167 Corporate Lake Drive, St. Louis, MO 63132-1716. Donations in Nancy's memory should be made to this address.
Published on July 26, 2018
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