Betty Jean Smith died peacefully Saturday, December 18, 2021 at Lexington Court Nursing Center. Jean had been battling Parkinson’s Disease. She was 96 years old.
Jean was born in Greenville, PA and spent her early years in Sharon, PA working in her grandmother’s grocery store. While in high school, she worked as an USO hostess at the US Army camp nearby in Greenville.
Jean began playing the violin in elementary school and it was then that music became a grand and glorious part of her life. After high school, Jean attended Baldwin Wallace College to continue her musical training. While at BW, she met the love of her life, John Smith. Jean and John were married on graduation day in June 1949 in the college chapel. After graduation, the Smith’s moved to Columbus, Ohio where John began his medical studies at The Ohio State Medical College. Jean taught Music Education at Gahanna High School and continued her musical studies at OSU receiving her Master’s in Music Education in 1953.
After John’s graduation from medical school, the Smith’s relocated to John’s hometown of Shelby where their lives centered on family, traveling, music, and of course, golf! Jean was a 22 handicapper and loved playing at the Shelby Country Club where she made wonderful lifelong friends.
Jean’s interest in music continued to grow. She sang with the Mansfield Symphony Chorus and Mansfield Choral Society. Jean was the bell choir director for 20 years for the First United Methodist Church in Shelby. Jean and John had season tickets to the Cleveland Orchestra and there was not a Broadway show they did not attend. Their home on “The Boulevard” was filled with opera and orchestra music and beautiful pieces of art.
One of Jean’s crowning achievements was The Ohio State University Mansfield Branch. She was instrumental in working with the Columbus administration to bring the branch to Mansfield. She was an active member of the OSU-M Advisory Board and served on the OSU-M Citizens Council.
Jean and John loved Shelby. They rarely missed a football, basketball, or volleyball game. Jean loved reading and served on the board of the Shelby Marvin Memorial Library. She was involved with F.I.S.H. Ministries and enjoyed playing cards and supporting the Shelby Senior and Community Center. Before her Parkinson’s diagnosis, Jean could be found at the Shelby YMCA working out, practicing yoga, and, of course, whooping it up in Zumba class!
Jean was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers and a sister; her beloved husband, John; her wonderful in-laws; brother and sisters-in-laws: Ross Smith, Russell and Geraldine Adam, and Judy McClaskey; and nephews: Jim and Joe Adam.
She is survived by her children: Amy and Larry Glorioso of Mansfield, Andy and Jill Smith of Holly Springs, NC, and Adam Smith of Shelby; AFS daughter: Martine Segers of Belgium; granddaughters: Whitney Glorioso and Hayley Trittschuh of Mansfield, Evonne and Steve Stephenson of Cincinnati, and Jacqueline and Billy Webber of Longview, TX; 10 great grandchildren: Mason, Braxton, Weston, Lennon, Stella, Luke, Gemma, Noel, Rhyse, and Gwendolyn; nieces and nephews: John, Jeff, Jane, Nicole, and Dawn Adam.
Jean’s family would like to thank Dr. Marion Demers for her wonderful care of both of our parents, Primrose Assisted Living Center in Mansfield- your staff are true gems!, and Lexington Court Nursing Center for all the tremendous care you gave mom over these last 4 years.
Private burial will be held at a later date in Oakland Cemetery, Shelby. Memorial contributions may be mailed to Marvin Memorial Library, 29 W Whitney Ave, Shelby or the Shelby Senior and Community Center, 154 N Gamble Street, Shelby.
Care for Jean and her family is being provided by the Penwell Turner Funeral Home, 168 West Main Street, Shelby. Online condolences may be left on Jean’s obituary at www.PenwellTurner.com or by leaving a comment on her post on the funeral home’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/PenwellFuneral.