DUNKIRK, N.Y. - Ruth Aliene Crawford Smith was 90-years-old and with her family bedside at her time of death on Friday (Dec. 30, 2015). She was living at the Ohio Masonic Home, Springfield, Ohio.
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Born Dec. 1, 1925, in Bradford, Pa., at the family home located at 237 Jackson Ave.; she was a daughter of Michael James and Mary Elizabeth Crawford, delivered by Dr. H.A. Wilson, MD. She attended Fourth Ward Grade School, Bradford Junior High, and Bradford Senior High; graduating in the Class of 1943. She was baptized at St. Bernard Church, Bradford, and attended the First Presbyterian Church, Dunkirk, for many years.
She worked as a telephone operator for the Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania, as a travel agent for Henry N. Harvendar at the Bradford Bus Terminal, and a sales clerk at many retail stores in Dunkirk, including JCPenney, Sidey's, The Safe Store, and Gib Snyder Home Improvements.
Aliene, "Ally," married her high school sweetheart, Earl Redmond "Smitty" Smith on Sept. 5, 1944, at the Presbyterian Church at Allegany, N.Y., Cattaraugus County, by the Rev. Archie Nicholson.
She was the mother of two sons: Lawrence Michael Smith, born at the Bradford (Pa.) Hospital on July 27, 1945, and Jeffrey Earl Smith born at Brooks Hospital, Dunkirk, on June 15, 1958. She was a den leader coach and den mother for the Cub and Boy scouts. She was named the Lady Elk of the Year in 1977.
Aliene and Earl won many dance contests and were known to entertain by "cutting-a-rug" at gatherings. They bred and showed American Boxer show dogs with the famous "Suzie Dog" winning numerous top prizes. Aliene also enjoyed painting landscapes and portraits; she created several cherished paintings.
Aliene loved genealogy and everything Irish and Scottish. She researched and visited her ancestors' castles and abodes in Ireland, Scotland, England and throughout the U.S. She proudly talked about her travels, discoveries, and kissing the "Blarney Stone." She often taught genealogy to newcomers and advanced Internet-based genealogy to seasoned pros. She was a natural as an Internet researcher from her daily reading of two newspapers, watching continuous news programs, and surfing the Internet. Aliene was an active member of the Chautauqua County Genealogical, Cattaraugus County Genealogical, and Dunkirk Irish Societies. Aliene was known to dance the Irish jig impressively into her 70s. She authored and published a traditional Irish recipes cookbook "A Pinch of the Irish by Aliene" with a first edition published in 1988 and second edition in 1992.
She also loved watching and cheering for the New York Yankees baseball, Buffalo Bills football, and Holy Cross College, Worcester, Mass., football teams. Her father, Michael, named her after his favorite baseball player, Babe Ruth, and passed on his love of baseball to "Ruth" Aliene Crawford. Aliene especially enjoyed visiting, traveling with, and socializing with the extended Smith and Crawford families of cousins, nieces, nephews, and other relatives.
After she had married in 1944, Earl and Aliene lived at Foster Brook and Bolivar Drive in Bradford. They moved to Fredonia, N.Y., in the year 1951 and lived shortly on McAllister Road; moved to Dunkirk, N.Y., and lived in homes located at 3rd Street, S. Roberts Road, and Beagle Street. Together with husband, Earl, they hand-build their beautiful Lake Erie dream home located at 6 Crestwood Drive in 1956. Each Christmas season, this Crestwood home would transform into the North Pole as they loved Christmas and entertained local children, family, and guests with warm and cheerful holiday activities and food. Thanksgiving and Christmas were Aliene's and Earl's favorite holidays; however, St. Patrick's Day was vigorously celebrated as they proudly wore their "Green" and family plaids. Nothing could be more fun and the food none better than being with Aliene and Earl on these special days celebrating.
Aliene was the youngest of 12 children born to Michael and Mary Elizabeth Crawford. Surviving Aliene are sister, Patricia "Patty" (1923 – Goshen, N.Y. ); son, Jeffrey (1958 – Maryland with wife Dr. Ellen Lori Smith, MD); grandsons, Eric Michael (1969 – Columbus, Ohio, with spouse Jeannine Ryan), Lawrence "Larry" Earl (1972 Columbus, Ohio), Daniel Edward (1992 – Maryland), Benjamin Michael (1994 – Maryland); granddaughter, Sarah Elizabeth (1997 – Maryland); great-grandsons, Eric Michael "Mick" (2002 – Columbus, Ohio) and Anthony Maxwell "Max" (2004 – Columbus, Ohio); daughter-in-law, Rita Fields Smith (1951 – Springfield, Ohio); and niece, Joyce Anne Huff Ames (1937 – Florida, Aliene helped raise Joyce as a young child; sister Evie's daughter).
Aliene is preceded in death by beloved husband Earl (1925-2007, Dunkirk, N.Y.); son, Lawrence "Larry" (1945-2012, Springfield, Ohio); mother, Mary Elizabeth (1885-1955, Bradford); father, Michael James (1879-1959, Bradford); brothers, Walter (1903-1971, Crossett, Alaska), James (1909-1966, Bradford), Raymond (1907-1976, Bradford), Michael "Mickey" (1918-1969, Dunkirk, N.Y.), and Francis (1921-1922, Bradford); sisters, Margaret (1905-1974, Long Beach, Calif.), Loretta (1911-2001, Pompano Beach, Fla.), Kathryn "Dolly" (1913-1990, Decatur, Ga.), Mary Evelyn "Evie" (1915-1969, Depew, N.Y.), and Gertrude "Gertie" (1917-1982 Lovington, N.M.); and daughter-in-law, Linda Anne (1948-2005, Columbus, Ohio).
Aliene attentively and proudly cared for husband Earl, who had advanced Alzheimer's, until his death. Shortly after Earl's death, Aliene began having her challenges living independently. In the beginning, Aliene lived with sons' families in Maryland and then in Ohio. She struggled with advanced Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. She required 24/7 continuous care and became wheelchair bound. For the past eight years, she lived at The Ohio Masonic Home for assisted living in the Pathways Memory Care Community. Her caregivers provided her with excellent ("the best") and loving care with personalized attention.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests your contribution consideration for The Ohio Masonic Home Foundation, 2655 W. National Road, Springfield, OH 45505.
Additionally, in her final year, she also under the watchful care of the Community Mercy Hospice; this is the same hospice group that cared for son Larry and daughter-in-law Linda in their last days. Rita, Larry's second wife, volunteers with this organization today. Contributions may be sent to Community Mercy Hospice, 444 W. Harding Blvd., Springfield, OH 45504.
There will be no prior visitation. Burial will be in Willowbrook Cemetery Dunkirk, N.Y., at the convenience of the family. The family is planning a late spring memorial and family reunion for Aliene in Dunkirk.
In the meantime, hug a tree and have an Irish coffee or just a good coffee soon to celebrate Aliene and her amazing life! "is túisce deoch ná scéal" translates to "a drink precedes a story." Please send an e-condolence, remembrances, photographs, and stories to AlieneCrawfordSmith@comcast.net. These emails will be posted on Aliene's Facebook Wall unless otherwise requested. Long and numerous stories are highly appreciated as it is the Irish way.
Funeral arrangements are by the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home, Dunkirk, N.Y.
McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home
736 Central Ave
Dunkirk, NY 14048
Published in The Bradford Era from Jan. 16 to Jan. 23, 2016