JACKSONVILLE - Mrs. Zysla Wisznia Smith, loving wife of George Washington Smith, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013.
A private graveside service was held at Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery.
She was born in Lublin, Poland, on Jan. 1, 1933. Shortly after her first birthday, she and her parents moved to Rio de Janiero, Brazil, to escape Jewish persecution. She lived in Rio until her marriage in 1955.
She is survived by her husband of 58 years, George; her children, David and his wife Teri, James and his wife, Melissa, Dora Smith Compton, and her husband, Jeff, and Richard, and his wife Pamela; grandchildren, Diana (Love) Goodwin Shell, Paul (Buddy) Goodwin and his wife Keo, Asher, Jes and his wife, Rachel, Eric, Jacob, Alexandra Strang, Zachary Strang, Isaac, and Isabella. She is also survived by her sister, Helena Laskowsky and family in Brazil, and four great-grandsons, Connor, Jay, Cody, and Luke.
Zysla and George met while she was an embassy assistant at the American Embassy in Rio de Janeiro and George, a Marine, was a guard. They married on June 13, 1955. George and Zysla and their children moved many times as together they served their country, finally settling in Jacksonville in 1971, after George's military retirement. Zysla's passion for her work and family were unparalleled. Together with her husband, she started World Art Gallery in 1971, which developed into a thriving business based on integrity, workmanship, and wonderful customer service. She was an avid bridge player and belonged to numerous bridge groups throughout the years. She also played Mahjongg and volunteered at the hospital after retirement. She enjoyed entertaining friends and family and was a sensational cook.
The family would like to welcome friends to a visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16 at Jones Funeral Home, 303 Chaney Ave, in Jacksonville.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to
, 2202 Wrightsville Avenue, Suite 111, Wilmington, NC 28403.
Electronic condolences may be left for the family at jonesfh.org.
Zysla was a wonderful daughter, sister, wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and great-grandmother and will be greatly missed. May she rest in peace.