November 10, 1928 – July 11, 2019
Vaunceil Smith, 90, of Fort Wayne died peacefully on Thursday, July 11, 2019. She was an artist, community leader, wife of Attorney Maxwell P. Smith, and mother of four children. Vaunceil Hulda Tiarks was born on November 10, 1928, in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Scotch Plains, New Jersey. She attended Valparaiso University, where she and Max fell in love. They were married in 1949 and moved to Fort Wayne in 1953. Vaun was an active volunteer and Jubilee member of First Presbyterian Church, where she helped direct the Ben Ezra program for seniors. She also served on the Board of Deacons and as a member of the Session. In the late 1960’s, she joined the Panel of American Women to champion racial diversity and equality. She founded the Pillow Factory with her friend, Carmen Nicklin, to promote original artwork in the home. She led Cub Scout dens and Girl Scout meetings and served on the board of the Fort Wayne Ballet. Vaun and Max raised their family on Sunset Drive, where the dinner table always had room for one more, and where lively conversation helped narrow the generation gap. Summers at the lake cottage in Pentwater, Michigan, were for watching sunsets like movies, and building beach fires under the stars. People loved Vaun because she loved people. She was the hostess at a party where everyone was welcome. One of her favorite sayings was, “The people who are hardest to love are often the ones who need love the most.” No one she met remained a stranger and she never let go of a friend. She is survived by her children: Mark (Jody) Smith, Terri (Michael) Lindvall, Amy Szwabowicz, and Laura (Michael) Eckstein; her sister, Valerye Forrest; five grandchildren and three great grandchildren. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 3, 2019, at First Presbyterian Church, 300 W. Wayne St., Fort Wayne, Indiana. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial gifts be made to First Presbyterian Church or Wellspring. Klaehn, Fahl & Melton Funeral Home, Fort Wayne is handling arrangements.
- First Presbyterian Church
- Memorial Service Saturday, August 3, 2019
August 2, 2019
My earliest memory of my Aunt Vaun was Easter Sunday in Ft Wayne looking for our baskets!
Learned that cottage cheese goes in lasagna,
to this day I make it that way :)
Ah the icing on the cake , who couldn’t forget
Aunt Vaun was a great story teller , great at organizing games , wonderful hostess,, always including children in activities all with fun and love !
What a beautiful, classy lady!
Heaven acquired an awesome angel 😇
xxo from your niece Dianne ❤️
July 22, 2019
So saddened to hear about Vaun. She always had a huge welcoming smile for me and I always enjoyed seeing her at the Jorgensen YMCA or the Castle Gallery. She was always a bright spot wherever she was. My condolences to the whole family. In sympathy, Susan Tuori and David Greene, Robert and Alex Greene
July 22, 2019
I had the good fortune of meeting Vaun thru my friendship with Tom Nicklin and the Nicklin Family. I have a wonderful memory of Vaun and her kindness and hospitality to me and everyone when Tom and Amy got married years ago. Vaun hosted the reception on the back deck of her place in Pentwater, MI. I left a bottle of bourbon at her place earlier before the wedding when Tom and I were getting things setup for the party later. I have a distinct memory of Vaun’s very welcoming and fun personality. I got to share some bourbon with Vaun later that evening at the reception and we had a lovely conversation. My deepest sympathy to the Smith Family and to all those who loved her.
Kathi (and Tim) Callahan
July 21, 2019
Our sincere condolences to the Smith family (and extended family). Mrs. Smith always had a kind word for us (and everyone she met) and was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. She will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
July 19, 2019
Our condolences to Vaun's family. She was a wonderful person and friend, she will be missed.
July 18, 2019
We so much regret the passing of Vaun Smith. Such a wonderful smile..such a wonderful caring person.
Bob and Jennifer Anderson
July 15, 2019
Vaun was a wonderful lady who just had a natural way of brightening every room she entered. She was a sparkle, and will be missed here on earth. Safe travels, Vaun. Your life has made this often troubled world a better place.
July 13, 2019
I met Vaun when we were early members of a women's social group in our city. I enjoyed our conversations and our shared interest in the arts. I recall the grace with which she faced the heartbreaking challenge of gradually losing her husband. But mostly I remember her laugh and joyful engagement with people. RIP, special lady.
July 12, 2019
What a wonderful classy lady. Always greeted you with her warm smile. She will be missed.