Lorraine Bradley Smith, loving mother of 5 children, 8 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren, and friend to many, passed away peacefully on June 18th, surrounded by her family.
Lorraine was born in Manchester, CT. on July 21, 1931, the daughter of Leon and Marjorie (Gibney) Bradley. She grew up in Manchester, attending Hollister School and graduating from Manchester High School. During her school years she enjoyed playing field hockey and basketball. In 1944 she survived the great Hartford Barnum and Bailey Circus Fire with her grandmother and aunt. Lorraine went on to graduate with a degree in Commerce and Economics from the University of Vermont in Burlington. It is here that she met the love of her life, Donald W. Smith. They were married for 49 years prior to his passing in 2002. They made their home in the Boston area, before settling in Methuen, MA. After 5 years in Greensboro, NC they returned to Methuen, where she resided at the time of her passing.
Lorraine enjoyed traveling, taking cruises and visiting many countries with Don. After his passing, she continued her travels with children and grandchildren. Taking special bus trip toursaround the east coast was also a favorite activity.
Another love was animals. She enjoyed reading James Herriot and watching Animal Planet. When it was difficult for her to get around to visit family, seeing pictures and videos of her children's and grandchildren's pets brought a big smile to her face.
Lorraine loved her church, First Church Congregational in Methuen and gave her time and talents in many ways. She served on committees including Diaconate, Organ Restoration, PhillipsGuild, Couple's Club, Heavenly Preserves, Ministerial Search Committees and Stewardship. She was co-chair of church craft fairs and was active in the Church's 250th Anniversary celebration. Lorraine was always part of the Church's Annual George Washington Dinner. One year, she and Don were honored to play the roles of Martha and George Washington. Lorraine also served the wider community as an annual volunteer at the Festival of Trees, providing transportation to help others get to appointments, and working at the polls.
Lorraine grew up in a home that was full of music. She had a beautiful voice that she shared in the Church choir for many years and was also in the Church's Bell Ringers Choir. Being part of the Valley Singers was a special joy for her. Lifelong friendships were made as they shared their love of music, performing throughout New England at concerts, on television, and recording CDs of their music. Helping and supporting each other through the good times and bad, they were more like sisters. She sang in the “Messiah” with the Andover Choral Society and other sacred choral concerts, as well as in groups celebrating America and our freedoms. Over the years Lorraine performed in and was a writer for many musicals at South Congregational, St. Robert’s, and St. Andrews.
Lorraine is survived by five children: David W. Smith and wife Susan of Gilford, NH; Gary W. Smith and wife Vanessa of Emerald Isle, NC; Craig B. Smith and wife Ann of Methuen, MA; Karen Call of District Heights, MD; and Rebecca Smith of Acton, MA. Eight grandchildren: Amy Smith of Ashland, NH; Daniel Smith (Emily) of Gilford, NH; Erika Stockner (Dean) of Mechanicsville, VA; Kyle Smith (Lara) of Garner, NC; Wesley Smith (Kristen) ofMerrimack, NH; Melissa Albert (Dan) of Londonderry, NH; Brenda Seger (Billy) of Indian Head, MD; and Marjorie Fortin of District Heights, MD and 16 great grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother Edward Bradley and wife Linda of Manchester, CT and a niece and nephew. Lorraine was predeceased by her husband Donald, her parents, and son-in-law David Call.
The family would like to thank Nevins Nursing & Rehab Center, Lawrence General Hospital, and High Pointe House for their compassionate care and support. Burial will be held in Weybridge, Vermont. There will be a celebration of life at First Church Congregational in Methuen, MA at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation to First Church Congregational, 26 Pleasant St, Methuen, MA 01844
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