Mary Kathleen Smith Lindy
1932 - 2021
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Mary Kathleen Smith Lindy

Mary Kathleen Smith Lindy died on April 23 of Alzheimers disease, which she lived with for thirteen years. Kay was born in 1932 to James and Mary Biser Aspel in Madison, Wisconsin.

She was the middle of five children and attended St. Bernard Elementary School and Edgewood High School, where she graduated at 17. She completed her nursing degree at St. Mary's School of Nursing in Rochester, Minnesota where the students were educated by The Sisters of St. Francis and trained at the Mayo Clinic. In addition to an excellent education at St. Mary's, Kay made lifelong friends, with whom she shared a love of science, some good trouble, and the compassion of their Catholic faith, a faith she lived by throughout her life.

Kay returned to Madison to the Veteran's Hospital where she met Wayne Smith, a tuberculosis patient given only a few months to live. The rebel in Kay, together with her faith, dismissed this diagnosis and she and Wayne were happily married for twenty-five years before he died in 1979. They moved to Scottsdale, Arizona in 1960, where they reared seven children. Kay continued her nursing career at Doctor's Hospital in Phoenix and Scottsdale Memorial Hospital, where she was a staff nurse, supervisor, head nurse and the nursing manager of the Emergency Department eventually being promoted to the Ambulatory Division Director. She also continued her education in hospital administration at the University of Phoenix. She constructed a model for a "mobile emergency unit," which ultimately became the foundation for ambulatory services in the Valley, the standard of practice for expanded services which continues today. Kay did her thesis on the 10 hour work day , which she implemented for the emergency room staff. This supported a better work-life balance, employment satisfaction and increased productivity, and most importantly to Kay, resulted in a higher quality of care for the patients. Kay lived in Scottsdale for over fifty years.

Kay's last formal position was with the Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation. For several years she travelled around the country and internationally as an Emergency Room Consultant and surveyor. Kay was joined in her travels by Raymond Lindy, whom she married in 1980. They had a very happy full fifteen years before Ray died unexpectedly. In addition to grandparenting eighteen grandkids, they volunteered with New Song, an organization for bereaved children.

In 'retirement' Kay's volunteer activities are too numerous to list, but among the range of roles she served in was as a Eucharistic minister and dockworker at St. Mary's food bank, she also worked weekly at Mission of Mercy. She was very active in her community at The Lakes in Tempe.

She loved to bowl, bike, rollerblade, dance, play mahjong, take her grandkids on adventures and grow roses. She spent the last seven years of her life with her companion Tom Mayer, whom she met at church.

She is also predeceased by her parents, her sister Peggy Aspel Whitbeck and a brother, James Aspel.

She is survived by seven children: Kathy Hoffman (Jim); Mike Smith (Debbie); Gigi Sloss (Henry); Tim Smith (Sarah); Pati Vester (Charlie); Dan Smith (Susan); Andy Smith (Diana); eighteen grandchildren, and fifteen great-grandchildren. She is survived by her brother Dr. Thomas Aspel of California and her sister Pat Clark of Wisconsin. She is also survived by many cousins, nieces, and nephews and a world of friends. She will be deeply missed and her generous spirit, bravery and compassion will remain an inspiration to us all.

A funeral mass will be held at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, May 5th, 10:30 AM.

In lieu of flowers, donations are being made to:

"Mary Kathleen Smith Lindy Scholarship" to support scholarships for Native American nursing students at Northland Pioneer College. Please send checks made out to NPC Friends and Family, 1611 S. Main St., Snowflake, AZ 85937. Include, "Mary Kathleen Smith Lindy Scholarship" on the memo line. You may also donate via PayPal at


Edgewood High School, Madison, Wisconsin. (Mary Kathleen Aspel Smith scholarship fund)

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Apr. 28 to May 3, 2021.
Funeral Mass
10:30 AM
Holy Spirit Catholic Church
Memories & Condolences
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11 entries
May 5, 2021
Kay was an inspiration to everyone who worked in the ER.
So many interesting times. The most memorable was the the group
rafting trip down the Colorado River and afterwards the "mooning" incident in the ER. We still laugh whenever we think about it.
May you rest in Peace.
Abby Shapiro
May 3, 2021
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.
May 3, 2021
I wish I could be with all of you for the Celebration of your Mom's life. Mrs. Smith was very influential in my life, from my teenager years all the way up. She was so funny and gave us, I'm sure much needed, good advice and some of it with a lot of spice! I'm now a Mom and Grandma and just imagine she looked at us as teenagers thinking we just didn't have a clue about anything!! Reading the obituary I am in awe of all she achieved. Having seven kids and all the neighborhood kids at her house, not many women could successfully do this. All my Love to all of you!!❤Keeping you all in my prayers
Rebecca Blackman
May 3, 2021
Kay was a dynamic, fun-loving gal. She approached everything in life with a 'can do' attitude. She knew how to love, play, and live each day to the fullest. Kay, my dear sister, you will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing and loving you. I miss you and you will always be in my heart.
To Kay's wonderful family: I watched her become a mother, wife, and aunt in her younger years, as she loved each of her children fiercely and with great devotion. Kathy, Mike, GIGI, Patti, Dan, Tim, and Andy - your mom loved your Dad, Wayne, with a love that amazed everyone. Your Grandma Aspel did not like him at first, but soon loved him with all her heart and blessed the day he met your mom. Please feel free to call your Aunt Pat anytime. Kathy has my number. I remember all of you and love you very. much. You all are forever blessed. Aunt Pat Clark
Patricia Clark
May 3, 2021
Group of 10 Memorial Trees
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Lala & Rob
May 2, 2021
Our condolences to Kay’s family. She was a special woman and I really
enjoyed my time with her and Tom listening to her stories of her mom and sisters and children. May she Rest In Peace now that she is with her family members who went before her!
May 1, 2021
Growing up on Pierce St. Kay and all the Smiths are a big part of my childhood memories. My Mom and Kay were best friends for many years and were nicknamed Lucy and Ethel. Of course Kay (Lucy) was the mastermind of most of their capers.
Kay was a role model for me and inspired me to become a nurse.
She was quite a lady and will be missed but never forgotten.
To the Smith family I’m sorry I can’t be at your Mom’s Memorial service but know I am there in Heart and love you all-
Cyndie Watkins O’Brien
May 1, 2021
Kay was like our other mother, we have so many fun memories of growing up on Pierce St. She and my mom were like Lucy and Ethel ( guess who Kay was ) she will definitely be missed by so many. Love to all the Smith family ❤

Kristie and Bill Berger
Kristie Berger
May 1, 2021
Mrs Smith was one of our neighborhood moms growing up on Pierce Street. She always made me feel like family. She had an amazing family of her own that loves like she did. She will always remain within me for all the memories we had with her!! Rest In Peace Kay. We love you and will miss you!
Renie Leyvas Scibona
Renie Leyvas Scibona
April 30, 2021
Kay was a power house - strong, funny, loving, inspiring, naughty and no-nonsense with a huge heart. She leaves a big hole but fantastic memories for so many who had the privilege of knowing her. Sending love to all the family. Sonia and Jerry Feldman
Sonia and Jerry Feldman
April 30, 2021
My sincere condolences to all of Kay's children. I remember her no nonsense approach when chatting with us teenagers, many years ago.
Her contributions are no surprise. A remarkable woman.
With love,
Marcia Jepson
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