Marie Emily Smith

Marie Emily Smith, after a full and wonderful life, our beloved matriarch and long-time resident of Liberty Township passed away Wednesday, August 26, 2020, at age 96, at home under the loving care of her family. Marie was preceded in death by her lifelong companion of 73 years, her husband, James Wesley Smith. She will be missed by all for her loving warmth, great hugs, friendly conversation, and thoughtfulness, including that annual birthday card.

Marie was born in Belding, Mich., on July 29, 1924. After graduating from high school, she attended Foote School of Nursing, receiving her registered nursing (RN) degree in 1945, and practiced nursing while raising her five daughters, retiring from Vista Grande Villa in 1981. She met the love of her life, Wesley, during her nursing school days and married him on March 9, 1946. She was a lifelong member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of East Liberty. She enjoyed her family times, nature – particularly the hummingbirds, traveling, vacationing in Paradise, Mich., and many trips to Mackinac Island with her girls.

Marie is survived by her five daughters: Delores (Irving) Dentel, Roxana, Laurie (Carl) Smelser, Pam (Paul) Wallace, and Janelle (Jack Pedersen) Smith; 10 grandchildren: Susanna (Matt) Walch, Aaron (Chris) Dentel, Brian Dentel, Amanda (Chuck), John (Haley) Gates Jr., Robert Gates, Megan (Laura) Wallace, Kyle (Nikki) Wallace, Ben Pedersen, and Emily Pedersen; 11 great-grandchildren: Dayton, Aquinnah, Alex, Marcus, Lacey, Wesley, Sargent, Rune, Zinnia, Jameson and Merlin and one more on the way; many cousins, nieces, and nephews; and four sisters-in-law: Marilyn Fredericks, Dorothy Kerr, Ruth Davis, and Carole Hartsuff. Marie was preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Florence Oberlin and sister, Marjorie (Jeff) Branch, and her three sisters-in-law: Frances Schafer, Margaret Johns, and Rose Ann Wittenberg.

Cremation has taken place, and a memorial celebration of her life is being planned for a later date. Marie’s family asks that friends and family leave messages and memories at the “Share a Memory” tab at For those who wish, contributions would be appreciated in Marie’s memory to the American Cancer Society (

Services are under the care of Arthur-Day Funeral Home, LLC in Michigan Center.  (