Ann Smithers

Obituaries in Penn Yan, NY | The Chronicle-Express
Winter Oak Funeral Home

Ann Smithers

Penn Yan - Ann Smithers, long-time resident of Penn Yan, New York, died on the evening of November 11, 2021 at the age of 91. She spent her last days surrounded by family. Plans are underway to return her to Penn Yan next Summer to rest beside her beloved husband Wes and son Scott. In lieu of flowers, her family asks for memorial donations to be made to Keuka Comfort Care Home (www.keukacomfortcarehome.org), which serves the community's terminally-ill residents and which she supported for many years.

Mrs. Smithers taught English at Penn Yan Academy for 35 years, touching the lives of countless local residents. Every so often, someone would stop her in the library or grocery store to recite with pride and appreciation the two lines of Shakespeare she had required them to memorize 5, 10, or more years prior. Her love of literature and of language in general was infectious, and she was blessed by the kindness of so many former students who made the effort to tell her so. Her commitment to and excellence in teaching was recognized by membership in the Delta Kappa Gamma honor society, whose fellowship meant a great deal to her over the years.

Ann was born in Canton, New York, on June 9, 1930, to Joseph Clark Ellsworth and Ethel Sanford Ellsworth. Despite her father's admonitions about Navy men (he was a Sea Bee himself), Ann fell in love with sailor Wes "Smitty" Smithers, fresh back from a tour in the Pacific. She was pursuing her degree at St. Lawrence University where she was a member and eventually President of Kappa Kappa Gamma; he was earning his degree at Canton ATC (now SUNY Canton). They dated until she completed her first year of teaching and then married in 1953. They lived together in beautiful upstate New York their entire married life, first in Carthage, then Heuvelton, and finally Penn Yan starting in 1968. In 2018, she made the difficult decision to leave her beautiful hillside view of Keuka Lake and move to Palm Coast, Florida, to be closer to family.

Ann was an active member of Saint Mark's Episcopal Church for 50 years. She sang in the choir and served repeatedly on the Vestry and on various committees. She also served on the Governing Board of Saint Mark's Terrace, which was developed by the church in 1972 to establish affordable and safe housing for low-income seniors. She developed many cherished friendships through Saint Mark's, growing close through common commitment to such efforts as the prayer circle, Purls Knitting Ministry, Bereavement Support Group, and more. Luke advises us to use our worldly possessions to benefit others, and to make friends—by that measure, Ann lived a rich life indeed, delivering Meals on Wheels and helping take Communion to those unable to attend services. Her friends are legion, and their support and affection allowed her to live independently through more bracing Yates County winters than otherwise would have been possible.

The prototypical Super Mom, Ann raised four loving children while maintaining a decades-long teaching career, earning her master's degree, and being active in the community. She drove the kids and often their friends to and from band, chorus, track, football, basketball, scouting, and other activities and then stayed up late grading papers and planning lessons. Never a fan of driving, she could nevertheless find anything from Canandaigua's cross-country route to the Eastman Theater for a concert. More than a few of her children's friends thought of her and Wes like second parents.

Having once aspired to be a poet, she brightened her friend's birthdays and other occasions for many years with "verses" that she refused to call poems. The distinction was understandably insignificant to the beneficiaries. In later years, she found a renewed interest in haiku, one of which was found in her shirt pocket the day she died:

She gave me cookies;

She had given of herself.

We'd had some great laughs!

While we'll never know for whom it was written, it's a lovely example of Ann's empathy, focusing on her friend's generosity and their shared bond. (It's also a great example of her creative mind and love of a mental challenge.)

Ann was predeceased in 2006 by the love of her life, her husband of 53 years Wesley Ray Smithers, Jr. Her eldest son Scott Smithers died in 2015. She is survived by her daughter Karen Porcellini and husband Anthony of Palm Coast, Florida, son Brian Smithers and wife Barbara of Winter Garden, Florida, son Michael Smithers and wife Susan of Willcox, Arizona, granddaughter Angela Baldwin and husband Nick, granddaughter Alaina Porcellini, grandson Aaron Smithers, grandson Steven Smithers, and great-granddaughter Jayde Ann Smithers. She is also survived by her sister Joan Place and husband Tom of Boca Raton, Florida, niece Cindy Berend and husband Keith, and nephew Randy Place and wife Ellen. Her nephew Rick Place predeceased her. Her beloved brother Joe left this Earth far too young, but he remained in her daily remembrance to what would be her last hours. Her family sends their gratitude and affection to the countless friends, colleagues, students, neighbors, acquaintances, and just plain nice people who made her life so bright for so long.

Posted online on November 20, 2021

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Obituaries in Penn Yan, NY | The Chronicle-Express

Ann Smithers

Winter Oak Funeral Home

Ann Smithers

Penn Yan - Ann Smithers, long-time resident of Penn Yan, New York, died on the evening of November 11, 2021 at the age of 91. She spent her last days surrounded by family. Plans are underway to return her to Penn Yan next Summer to rest beside her beloved husband Wes and son Scott. In lieu of flowers, her family asks for memorial donations to be made to Keuka Comfort Care Home (www.keukacomfortcarehome.org), which serves the community's terminally-ill residents and which she supported for many years.

Mrs. Smithers taught English at Penn Yan Academy for 35 years, touching the lives of countless local residents. Every so often, someone would stop her in the library or grocery store to recite with pride and appreciation the two lines of Shakespeare she had required them to memorize 5, 10, or more years prior. Her love of literature and of language in general was infectious, and she was blessed by the kindness of so many former students who made the effort to tell her so. Her commitment to and excellence in teaching was recognized by membership in the Delta Kappa Gamma honor society, whose fellowship meant a great deal to her over the years.

Ann was born in Canton, New York, on June 9, 1930, to Joseph Clark Ellsworth and Ethel Sanford Ellsworth. Despite her father's admonitions about Navy men (he was a Sea Bee himself), Ann fell in love with sailor Wes "Smitty" Smithers, fresh back from a tour in the Pacific. She was pursuing her degree at St. Lawrence University where she was a member and eventually President of Kappa Kappa Gamma; he was earning his degree at Canton ATC (now SUNY Canton). They dated until she completed her first year of teaching and then married in 1953. They lived together in beautiful upstate New York their entire married life, first in Carthage, then Heuvelton, and finally Penn Yan starting in 1968. In 2018, she made the difficult decision to leave her beautiful hillside view of Keuka Lake and move to Palm Coast, Florida, to be closer to family.

Ann was an active member of Saint Mark's Episcopal Church for 50 years. She sang in the choir and served repeatedly on the Vestry and on various committees. She also served on the Governing Board of Saint Mark's Terrace, which was developed by the church in 1972 to establish affordable and safe housing for low-income seniors. She developed many cherished friendships through Saint Mark's, growing close through common commitment to such efforts as the prayer circle, Purls Knitting Ministry, Bereavement Support Group, and more. Luke advises us to use our worldly possessions to benefit others, and to make friends—by that measure, Ann lived a rich life indeed, delivering Meals on Wheels and helping take Communion to those unable to attend services. Her friends are legion, and their support and affection allowed her to live independently through more bracing Yates County winters than otherwise would have been possible.

The prototypical Super Mom, Ann raised four loving children while maintaining a decades-long teaching career, earning her master's degree, and being active in the community. She drove the kids and often their friends to and from band, chorus, track, football, basketball, scouting, and other activities and then stayed up late grading papers and planning lessons. Never a fan of driving, she could nevertheless find anything from Canandaigua's cross-country route to the Eastman Theater for a concert. More than a few of her children's friends thought of her and Wes like second parents.

Having once aspired to be a poet, she brightened her friend's birthdays and other occasions for many years with "verses" that she refused to call poems. The distinction was understandably insignificant to the beneficiaries. In later years, she found a renewed interest in haiku, one of which was found in her shirt pocket the day she died:

She gave me cookies;

She had given of herself.

We'd had some great laughs!

While we'll never know for whom it was written, it's a lovely example of Ann's empathy, focusing on her friend's generosity and their shared bond. (It's also a great example of her creative mind and love of a mental challenge.)

Ann was predeceased in 2006 by the love of her life, her husband of 53 years Wesley Ray Smithers, Jr. Her eldest son Scott Smithers died in 2015. She is survived by her daughter Karen Porcellini and husband Anthony of Palm Coast, Florida, son Brian Smithers and wife Barbara of Winter Garden, Florida, son Michael Smithers and wife Susan of Willcox, Arizona, granddaughter Angela Baldwin and husband Nick, granddaughter Alaina Porcellini, grandson Aaron Smithers, grandson Steven Smithers, and great-granddaughter Jayde Ann Smithers. She is also survived by her sister Joan Place and husband Tom of Boca Raton, Florida, niece Cindy Berend and husband Keith, and nephew Randy Place and wife Ellen. Her nephew Rick Place predeceased her. Her beloved brother Joe left this Earth far too young, but he remained in her daily remembrance to what would be her last hours. Her family sends their gratitude and affection to the countless friends, colleagues, students, neighbors, acquaintances, and just plain nice people who made her life so bright for so long.

Posted online on November 20, 2021