East Lyme - Eleanor Smith passed peacefully on Thursday, Aug, 2, 2012, two days before her 93rd birthday, with her family at her bedside.
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As circumstances and life experiences mold a person, we begin in 1919 on the island of Bermuda in the Parish of Pembroke on the north shore in a small white house. The youngest of five children, Eleanor Gwendolyn Watkins Miller was welcomed August 4, by her parents Mabel (nÃ© Hollis) and Walter Miller. When she reminisced about her idyllic childhood memories, they were always rich in family and love, through which one comes to understand her roots in family life and simplicity.
She left Bermuda for the States in her early twenties. She married an Englishman, Richard David Locke Jones, and had a child of the same name in 1942. Richard was called to serve in World War II, and sadly, her husband never returned.
At the close of the war, she met a most dashing Marine Captain Raymond Charles Smith Jr. who was returning home to Pelham, N.Y. from his tour of duty. They married and settled in Scarsdale, N.Y. where they remained for some twenty years. Eleanor was intent and content raising her four children, Richard, Deborah, Randy and Michael. Upon father's retirement, they moved to Saunders Point, Niantic.
Her love was felt by all and passed down to her children in the most inspirational way, cultivating strong familial bonds that are ever present.
That is a snapshot of her life, but her essence was love of family and managing family life even as her children had their own children. We celebrated holidays, vacations, births and birthdays, sporting events, graduations and other milestones as a family unit. She was center-stage supporting and loving each of us and all of us. She was a pillar of strength, grace, and courage as we faced life's challenges together. We have been blessed having her as our mother; she was our precious gem and will be terribly missed by all. Never to be forgotten by her lessons and virtues; she leaves a legacy of love, grace, tenderness and passion to all who knew her. She will be idolized in her family's memory as being the embodiment of strength and composure which exuded from her five foot Bermudian angelic body and mind.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, at the Niantic Community Church, Pennsylvania Avenue, Niantic. Reception to follow at the home of Deborah Smith McKeown, 5 N. Edgewood Road, Niantic.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her memory to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, c/o Office Development, 365 Montauk Ave., New London, CT 06320 as a tribute to the staff's commitment to and compassion for her while in their care.
Published in The Day on August 8, 2012