Mary Joanna Smith

By From page A2 | July 31, 2013

April 28, 1918 — July 21, 2013

Mary Joanna Smith, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, passed away peacefully in her sleep of natural causes at the age of 95. She liked to tell how she had her third birthday on the train moving to California with her parents, Lyda A. and Harry C. Cridge. They settled in the Shingle Springs area, where Lyda got a job teaching in the one-room schoolhouse at French Creek.

Mary attended all eight grades at French Creek and also met her future husband, Chauncey J. Smith Jr., a California native, there. After grade school Mary attended El Dorado High School, graduating in 1935. She joined the Eastern Star organization in 1936 and received her 75-year membership pin in 2011. After high school she followed in her mother’s footsteps; she went on to college and became a teacher. She married Chauncey on Dec. 27, 1940, and in 1943 moved on to White Oak Ranch in Rescue with her parents, where she and Chauncey had three children. Mary loved to teach elementary school kids their reading, writing and arithmetic, and she got hundreds of them off to a good start during her 20+ year teaching career in the Placerville, Rescue and Mother Lode School Districts.

Mary was preceded in death by Chauncey, her husband of 59 years; and Rosemary J. Smith, her only daughter. She is survived by two sons, Harry D. Smith (Carol) of La Verne, Calif., and C.J. Smith III (Terry) of Rescue, Calif. She had six grandchildren that she was very proud of: Christopher Smith of Pasadena, Nancy O’ Shaugnessy (Deric) of Santa Rosa, Roma Smith of La Verne, SSgt. Andrew Smith of Reno, Nev., Natasha Smith of Las Vegas, Nev., and Jessica Smith of Tulsa, Okla.; and one great-grandchild, Jordan of Santa Rosa.

An Eastern Star Memorial will be held at Hiram Lodge No. 25 Free and Accepted Masons, 6201 Main Street (Pleasant Valley Road) in El Dorado on Saturday, Aug. 3, at 2 p.m. The family asks that in lieu of flowers all remembrances be made in the form of donations to the Marshall Hospital Foundation, Mary’s favorite charity. Online condolences may be posted at


  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Special Publications »

    Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service (updated 4/30/2015) and Privacy Policy (updated 4/7/2015).
    Copyright (c) 2016 McNaughton Newspapers, Inc., a family-owned local media company that proudly publishes the Daily Republic, Mountain Democrat, Davis Enterprise, Village Life and other community-driven publications.