Esther Pickles Smith who was affectionately known as "Pick" passed away on Saturday, July 13, at St. Joseph's Living Center Windham, with the loving care of the St. Joseph's staff and with her daughter, Phyllis Dunn.
Esther was the loving wife of her childhood sweetheart and beloved husband, Samuel Smith, who predeceased her in 2008. Esther and Sam spent their retirement years traveling and residing in Spring Hill, Fla., until Esther experienced a severe stroke, causing them to return to live with their daughter and son-in-law in Columbia. A second stroke moved her to St Joseph's Living Center, where she resided until her passing under the exceptional loving and caring staff at St Joe's. She was one of the most generous, loving, talented, and organized people you could encounter, always caring for family, friends, and colleagues. As Sam always said, "Her hands were never idle." She had a twinkle in her eye and a beautiful smile that melted your heart. We will miss her always. She graduated Manchester High School Class of 1935, Mount Union College, Alliance, Ohio, Class of 1939 with a Bachelor of Science and a member of Alpha Xi Delta Sorority. She became a Brownie Girl Scout in 1925 when the first troop was organized at the Center Congregational Church, Manchester. She was the first Girl Scout in Manchester awarded the Golden Eagle Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting. Her lifelong career in Girl Scouting spanned decades: field director Stamford Girl Scouts Council, executive director, Great Neck Girl Scout Council, executive director Fox River Area Girl Scout Council, executive director Michigan Waterways Girl Scout Council. She achieved Life Membership in 1982 and retired in 1983. Her organization affiliations were a tribute to her commitment and dedication learned through Scouting: National Association of Girl Scout Executives 1940-1982 and chairwoman of the National Conventions Board. She was a board member and vice president of the Neenah Brass and Aluminum Foundry Neenah, Wis., was a Sunday school teacher, treasurer and board member of the New Church Building Committee of First Church of Christ Scientist, Port Huron, Mich., treasurer Blue Water Audubon Society, vice president and president Port Huron Garden Club, charter member of Altrusa Club, Appleton, Wis., and too many more to mention.
She was predeceased by her mother and father, Esther and John Pickles; brothers, William Pickles and John Pickles; and brother-in-law, Richard Ranney Jr. She leaves behind her daughter, Phyllis Dunn and husband, William Dunn, of Columbia; a grandson, Jeff Dunn of Norfolk, Va.; her dearly loved sister and confidant through life, Flora Ranney of East Hartford; and her nieces, Amy Gunter, Louise Holmes; and nephews, Jack and George Ranney and their families.
Calling hours will be on Friday, July 19, 2013, from 10 to 11 a.m. with a service to begin at 11 a.m. at Holmes Funeral Home, 400 Main St., Manchester. Burial will follow in East Cemetery, Manchester.
To leave and online condolence please visitwww.holmes-watkinsfuneralhomes.com
In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to Center Congregational Church, Manchester; Connecticut Valley Girl Scout Council, Hartford; or St. Joseph's Living Center, Windham.