Anna Louise Smith

October 30, 1931June 3, 2024
Obituary of Anna Louise Smith


Nelsen Williamsburg

Anna Louise Smith, age 92, adored wife, mother, grandmother and friend, passed away peacefully on June 3, 2024, following complications from a serious fall. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Gerard A. Smith, best known as Gerry. Louise is survived by her five children (Sharon/husband Tim Lecklider, Gerard Jr./wife Leslie Smith, Jennifer Smith, Lorraine Kinman/fiance Richard Rosenthal, and Janine Smith), seven grandchildren (Kathryn Lecklider/husband Nicholas, Lauren Lecklider/husband Nick, Sara Smith, Zachary Smith/wife Carrie, Brian Kinman, Daniel Kinman/wife Jenny, and Jason Kinman), and five great-grandchildren (Arlo Lyon, Lewis Lyon, Brooke Smith, Annabelle Smith, and Milo Denny). Louise was born on October 30, 1931 in Carlisle, Kentucky to John Franklin Brown and Nannie Lee Hall Brown. She was the seventh of eight children and lived much of her childhood on farms, as her father was a sharecropper tobacco farmer of very modest means. When Louise was stung by a number of bees as a small child, she remembered being taken by her brother to the local doctor on the back of the family plow horse as they did not yet own a car. Just before her 90th birthday, Louise wrote an autobiography for her children and grandchildren in which she shared many detailed memories of her childhood and life on a farm. Louise was a wonderful writer throughout her life, writing poems and tributes for her husband and children as well as being a consummate and dedicated letter writer always written in her beautiful, flowing handwriting. She never forgot a child’s or grandchild’s birthday, always calling and sending a beautiful card. In that same vein, Louise also strived to make Christmas holidays and birthdays extra special for her five children as she experienced so little of that wonder as a child herself. Louise had many interests throughout her long life. Her high school yearbook named her “the smartest girl in the senior class” with a long list of academic clubs, honors and offices held. Following high school in Paris, Kentucky, she moved to Dayton, Ohio where she was an executive secretary at Wright Patterson Air Force Base with a top-level security clearance who also supervised a large pool of secretaries. During her tenure there, she met her beloved husband, Gerry, who was a 1st Lieutenant in the Air Force and eventually rose to Captain. They were married at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Chapel in January 1957, thus beginning a nearly 66-year union. Louise said her proudest achievement was raising her five children. She passed on her lifelong love of learning to her children. In fact, early in her marriage, when her husband suggested that their sons would attend college and their daughters would attend junior college, Louise put her foot down and declared that their daughters absolutely would attend college too since she herself never had the financial means to do so. Gerry wisely agreed. She was an avid reader, reading 2-3 books per week through the end of her life. She loved history and was an informed follower of politics and national affairs. She also appreciated nature and enjoyed flowers and birdwatching. Many of her interests are now shared by her children. Louise and Gerry spent numerous years in Dayton and eventually in Kettering, Ohio where they made many lifelong friends on Jameswood Circle in the Marinole Park neighborhood. Louise was active in garden clubs there and won many neighborhood Christmas decorating contests with her creative, beautiful ideas. Her husband’s work with Raytheon Company eventually brought them to Washington, D.C. where Gerry served as Vice-President of the Raytheon Washington office during Desert Storm. There, Louise, the daughter of a sharecropper tobacco farmer, met U.S. Presidents and dined at the White House. She is the embodiment of what intelligence, education, determination and hard work can achieve. Before there was, there was Louise Smith. She was an early, dedicated family genealogist who wrote letter after letter starting early in her marriage to obtain information and records extensively documenting her family’s history long before computers, search engines or databases were available. Her family continues that work in her honor. Louise and Gerry enjoyed hunting through antique shops throughout their marriage and Louise had beautiful collections of both cranberry glass and oyster plates. With Louise’s love of history and antiques, it was apropos that she and Gerry retired to historic Williamsburg, Virginia. There, they thrived with 30 activity-filled years with good friends and many family visits. In retirement and before, Louise and Gerry enjoyed traveling the world with various friends. Ireland, France and Alaska were their favorite destinations. They also enjoyed many yearly trips with good friends to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Louise had one vanity and that was her beautiful, thick hair. As a child, her hair was snow white, turning darker as she grew up, and then returning to a beautiful snow white in her elder years. Louise’s hair was always perfectly coiffed thanks to Keira Darden, her dear friend and hairdresser for the last 30 years. Keira kindly traveled to Louise’s assisted living apartment towards the end of her life to keep her friend looking beautiful. Louise’s family will be forever grateful for Keira’s kindness and long friendship with Louise. Louise’s family is also grateful for the wonderful care she received for the last year and a half at the Williamsburg Landing Assisted Living facility. Nurses and all levels of staff there were friendly, kind, helpful and did their best to make sure Louise was comfortable and cared for. Louise was the venerable matriarch to her family. She was a wonderful mother to her children and partner to her husband. She was intelligent, hardworking, determined and fiercely dedicated to her family. Her memory at age 92 was legendary among her family members. Her pretty blue eyes and beautiful smile could light up a room. As Louise aged, she faced many health challenges with courage and stoicism. Her family will forever miss her and forever remember her for the wonderful example of grace and grit she set for them. A private, family memorial celebration for Louise is planned for a later date. The family requests donations be made to the Williamsburg Landing Gerry Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund w/attention to Sally Wolfe, 5700 Williamsburg Landing Dr., Williamsburg, VA 23185 or to the Cancer Research Institute, Web Donation, 29 Broadway, Floor 4, New York, NY 10006-3111. Condolences may be shared at

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