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Dr. Elizabeth (Grenier) Smider

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Dr. Elizabeth (Grenier) Smider November 18, 1966 - December 24, 2008 Passed peacefully and gracefully early on the evening of Christmas Eve, December 24, 2008, surrounded by her loving family at her side. Elizabeth fought a courageous, determined and inspiring battle against an incredibly aggressive form of metaplastic/inflammatory breast cancer with unwavering strength until the very end. Elizabeth leaves behind an exceptionally devoted and loving husband, Dr. Vaughn Smider, who she called her "rock," who was at her side during every step of her journey in health and during her illness. Her beautiful spirit lives on in her two precious children, Brevin, 7, and Tatiana, 4. She is survived by her loving parents, Joseph and Alba Grenier, her sister, Christina. Elizabeth was born November 18, 1966, to Joseph and Alba in San Francisco and was raised in Los Altos. She was a dedicated and gifted student, graduating from Los Altos High School, San Jose State University, and was a graduate of the first UC Berkley School of Optometry class to prescribe eye medication in 1996. With a specialty in low-vision and Glaucoma/Macular Degeneration, she was a dedicated, thorough and compassionate Optometrist, with patients that followed her in her practices. In 2000, Elizabeth married Dr. Vaughn Smider and they resided together in the Bay Area during the birth of their two children. Vaughn's cancer research relocated them to San Diego in 2005, where she created a loving circle of friends that provided her with unconditional support and love throughout her journey. One of Elizabeth's legacies is the inspiration she gave to the many lives that she touched throughout her life in health, and particularly throughout her battle with cancer. Her strength inspired not only family and friends, but also her doctors, with her tenacity and will to keep fighting even when a cure seemed impossible. Her cancer brought together friends and family across the country, reconnecting relations and creating new bonds, friendships and love along the way. Knowing this brought her great joy and purpose in her unwavering faith. There was not a day throughout her illness where she would ask and care how others were doing above herself. Elizabeth had a thirst for travel and adventure and a never-ending curious and inquisitive mind. Her sense of humor, loving nature and warmth made her a devoted and loving mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend - she touched many lives with her goodness. She was loved by many and will be dearly missed, but her spirit lives on. Visitation will be held on Friday, January 2, 2009 from 9:00-10:30 am at Spangler Mortuary, 399 S San Antonio Road, Los Altos, followed by services at 11:00 am at Christ Episcopal Church, 1040 Border Road, Los Altos; followed by burial at Alta Mesa Memorial Park, 695 Arastradero, Palo Alto. A reception for family and friends will follow. A foundation has been set up in Elizabeth's name to promote research and treatment for this type of rare breast cancer. Donations can be made to the Elizabeth Smider Foundation, P.O. Box 721884, San Diego, CA 92129.
Published in San Jose Mercury News on Dec. 31, 2008
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