Mary Louise Muncy Smith, from San Diego, CA, 97, was called by the Lord on June 17, 2020, while staying with the Mendéz family in Laredo, TX. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Henry Ainsworth Smith Jr, parents, W.B. & Maude Muncy & siblings: Robert Bruce Muncy, Paul Dickens Muncy, William Ernest Muncy, & Helen Muncy Green.
Left to cherish her memory are her family living in Northern Virginia: Cherri Muncy Firaben (Mark), niece, William Ernest Muncy Jr., nephew, James Paul Muncy, nephew, Justin Firaben, Jordan Firaben, & Christian Firaben, grandnephews, Devyn Muncy, grandniece, and many other relatives living in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. She had a lovely group of friends in San Diego. Many of her friends had birthdays in March just like Mary. One of their favorite things to do was go to the French Gourmet in San Diego and celebrate all their birthdays. She said they called themselves, “The Martians” in honor of their birthdays being in March. She made some precious friends while staying with the Mendéz family and was extremely blessed by Pastor Jane Dettling. A memorial service was held at the Latin American Lutheran Mission by the Mendéz family on Sunday, June 21, 2020 with a Zoom link for Mary's out of state family and friends. Mary graduated from Berea College with a teaching degree. Shortly before her death she told me that, Berea was mentioned in the Bible and asked me to look it up in Acts 17:10-15. The scripture refers to the people of Berea as being more open minded than others as they listened eagerly to the salvation message. They studied the scripture to see if what Paul and Silas said was true and came to believe. Mary was like the Bereans in that she loved to search and study the scriptures, even though she already knew they were true. She had an inquisitive mind and a genuine love for learning. She received her master’s degree in teaching from Columbia University in New York. She told me she would borrow money in the summer to pay for her tuition while she went to school on her summer breaks.
After her younger brother Bill graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Engineering and was offered a job in Florida, she and her mother made the move with him. They ended up in Cocoa, Florida, in the mid 50's. Mary ended up teaching kindergarten at Tropical Elementary, in Merritt Island, Florida. As fate would have it, the husband of the school’s librarian worked on a navy ship that was stationed at Patrick Air Force Base. The librarian is the one who introduced Mary to her soon to be husband, Henry, who was a doctor on that ship. While living in Florida, Mary attended Rockledge First Presbyterian Church, where she was the Sunday School Superintendent. I know this because my (Cherri Muncy Firaben) Certificate of Promotion from Kindergarten to the Primary department, dated September 11, 1966, was signed by Mary L. Smith, Superintendent. I remember going to Mount Soledad Church, in San Diego, CA, with Mary when my sons Justin and Jordan were little boys (probably 2 and 4), and they were having a special “thank you” service honoring Sunday school workers. Mary was called up front while a young girl beautifully sang the song “Thank You For Giving To The Lord” while my little boys danced in the aisle. I will never forget that moment because the words of that song apply to me as well as to the hundreds of other children whose lives she touched. Mary loved life and had a way of making everyday a fun filled adventure! Almost every vacation memory we have was thanks to her. They say, “Time Shares” are a bad investment, but most of our fond memories involve staying in a timeshare with Aunt Lou and Uncle Henry. One of our best memories was a Christmas spent in Vero Beach in a huge ocean front unit. I will never forget when Aunt Lou passed out these crazy Christmas socks for everyone to wear on Christmas day so we could take a picture of everyone’s feet. That still brings a smile to my face as I think about it now. Another fun memory was from Christmas 2008 when at the mere age of 85, she wrote the original poem titled “Chefs Firaben”. Words can never adequately express how generous and self-sacrificing Mary was. Not everyone can say they made a huge difference in so many people’s lives, but Mary Louise Muncy Smith could say that. However, being the humble woman of God that she was, she would never say that. That is why we humbly take the honor of saying it now that she is in the sweet arms of God. Her “life” verse was Philippians 1:6 which says, “Being confident of this, that he who begun a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Her good work is complete! It is well with her soul.