Lucile B. Smith, affectionately known as Lucy, passed away peacefully on August 16, 2023, at the age of 97 in La Mesa, California, surrounded by her loving family. She was born on February 6, 1926, in San Diego, California to Francis Wyse and Dorothy Benson.
Lucy had a fulfilling career that spanned several decades. She began her professional journey at US National Bank in San Diego before transitioning to a private accounting firm. This move allowed Lucy to have more flexible hours so she could dedicate herself to raising her four children through high school. After her children graduated, Lucy returned to full-time work prior to retiring from the firm at the age of 65.
Education was of utmost importance to Lucy, and she was a proud graduate of Our Lady of Peace Academy in San Diego. She furthered her knowledge by completing business courses in accounting and bookkeeping at San Diego Community College. Her dedication to learning inspired and guided her family and those around her.
Beyond her professional life, Lucy had a wide range of passions and hobbies that brought joy to her life and those around her. She had an incredible talent for playing the piano and had an appreciation for music, especially for the powerful tenor voices of the era. She often shared this love with her family by taking them to Balboa Park's Starlight Opera for live performances of the iconic musicals such as "Brigadoon," "Desert Song," "Oklahoma," "Fiddler on the Roof," and "Carousel."
An avid lover of nature, Lucy found solace in the beauty of the outdoors. Whether it was tending to her yard and roses, taking long walks along the San Diego Bay waterfront at sunset or in the mountains surrounded by towering trees, she was always able to find peace amidst the challenges of everyday life. Her profound connection with nature nurtured her spirit and instilled in her a deep appreciation for the world around us. On annual vacations and weekend getaways, she made it a priority for the family to visit as many National and State Parks as possible. In the earlier years, the family would often go on camping getaways and in retirement, Lucy and her husband Tom continued to travel and explore world history on cruises with family and friends along both the East and West coasts of North America, the Caribbean Ocean and waterways of Europe.
Lucy had an outgoing and warm personality that endeared her to everyone who knew her. She loved sharing stories and life experiences with those close to her. Her commitment to family and relatives was unwavering, and she played a vital role in keeping everyone connected throughout the years, especially during Christmas and holidays. Lucy's genuine and caring nature made her the cornerstone of her family's unity.
Knitting brought Lucy immense pleasure, and she devoted her time to creating beautiful sweaters and blankets while on trips, using it as a way to keep her hands busy and avoid becoming a "backseat driver." Her creative talents extended to decorating the entire home every Christmas season, spreading cheer to all who entered. She also found joy working in her garden and was delighted by growing roses, vegetables, and fruit trees which she would harvest and share the bounty with family and friends. Lucy found immense satisfaction in fostering a warm and inviting atmosphere for her loved ones and close friends.
One of Lucy's proudest accomplishments was instilling the value of education in her family. She worked tirelessly to support all of her grandchildren and was very proud that they all achieved their college degrees. Alongside her husband Tom, Lucy generously made donations to a number of institutes of higher education, the National Parks Foundation and to Christian charities throughout their lifetimes. The impact they made will forever be remembered.
Lucy is survived by her beloved children - daughter Vicki Beasley, sons Tom Smith, Dave Smith, and Ed Smith. She also leaves behind son-in-law John Beasley and daughter-in-law Carolyn Smith and son-in-law Tod Herrington, grandsons Wesley Smith, Deven Smith and Dalton Smith, granddaughter Cassidy Smith. Lucile was preceeded in death by her husband Tom and brothers Bill Benson, Frank Benson, Dick Benson, and Fred Benson.
Lucile touched the lives of many with her kindness, warmth, and dedication to family. She was deeply loved and will be forever remembered for her compassion, grace, and resilience. While her physical presence may no longer grace our lives, her spirit will endure in the memories we all hold dear. May she rest in eternal peace.
In honor of Lucile's life, a Memorial Mass will be held at 9:30 in the morning of August 31st at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church with internmet to follow at 11:30 am at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
Celebration of Life will be held following the internment at Casa Guadalajara Restaurant Thursday, August 31st beginning at 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm - Friends, family, and all whose lives were touched by Lucile are invited to come together to share stories that highlight the immense impact she had on our lives.
Casa Guadalajara Restaurant
4105 Taylor St.
San Diego, CA 92110
In leu of flowers, donations may be made to one of Lucile's favorite charities:
Michael J Fox Foundation
National Parks Foundation