October 19, 1922 ~ August 29, 2004
Violet Smith, age 81, beloved mother of Christina Smith, passed away August 29, 2004 at Methodist Heart Hospital in San Antonio, Texas. A Memorial Tribute will be held Saturday, September 11th at 11a.m., in the Chapel at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 181 S. Santa Clara Street in New Braunfels. Vi loved a good potluck, so in her honor, plan to stay for a potluck luncheon following the service.
In lieu of flowers, it is Vi's request that bags of pet food and support be given to the New Braunfels Animal Shelter at 1920 Kuehler Ave., New Braunfels, Texas 78130, in her name.
Vi was born on October 19, 1922, in Pittsville, Wisconsin. She was the seventh of eight children, born to Josephine and Otto Helander, both of whom were born in Sweden. Her childhood was spent on a farm in Dixon, Illinois. She grew up speaking only Swedish. Her first 8 years of education were spent in a one-room schoolhouse, with a wood burning stove and an outhouse. She attended high school in Polo, Illinois and business school in Rockford, Illinois. She moved to Chicago, where she lived until moving to New Braunfels in 1981.
On September 9, 1950, she married Joseph Emmet Smith and to this union was born one child, Christina Priscilla. Joe died on June 9, 1991 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 79. In 1996 their darling dog Spud died, which just about broke her heart.
Vi worked as an Executive Secretary throughout her life. She retired from Detex Corporation in 1986.
After her retirement, she enjoyed many hours volunteering at St. Johns Thrift Shop, Hospice New Braunfels and Hospice Thrift Avenue. She loved putzying with plants and spending time in her yard. Vi loved people, flowers and animals. She was especially fond of elephants, monkeys and pigs. She enjoyed an invigorating walk every day.
On January 1, 2004, she fell and broke her hip. She had a slow recovery but was doing well. She was enjoying life and looking forward to every tomorrow. She was determined to make the most of each day. It was just about time for her to trade in the walker for a cane.
On August 26, she woke up and felt extremely tired. When her arm started to ache, she knew it was time to go to the hospital-even though she swore she would never ever return to a hospital. She made cinnamon bread the day prior to entering the hospital. The day before that she was at Hospice Thrift Avenue doing her volunteer work. She was anxious to watch the Republican Convention so she could boo Bush. She was a card-carrying Democrat.
Her heart was tired. Then her kidneys got tired. She had minimal discomfort. She had no idea she was going to die. At 11a.m., she said she wanted her walker so she could get up to pee. Her mind was sharp and as strong as ever. Unfortunately, her heart and kidneys gave out. She took her last breath just one hour later at noon on August 29, 2004.
Her only child Christina Smith, her sister Alice Schoen, brothers Tony Helander and Harold Helander, a few nieces and nephews and many friends survive her. She will be dearly missed.
Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle
Violet, “Vi” as she liked to be called by friends was a generous caring woman. She found joy in simple things and was always ready to offer a helping hand to others. Violet-Elizabeth will always have a special spot in my heart, she was my friend unconditionally. She had a wonderful laugh, a love for flowers, her pets and a clean house…..guess that makes her about as close to perfection as we can hope to be. I will miss her but I know she’s walking without the walker along side Joe and Spud and Daisy somewhere in green fields, warm with sunshine and soft breezes. Happy trails my friend, I love you. Tina
Christina, You are in my thoughts and prayers constantly. What a very special relationship you had with your dear mother. My heart is with you during this difficult time. You are my special friend and I love you………..Susan
Christina, I am so sorry for your loss. Many here at the Red Cross have inquired about you and send their condolences. Our prayers are with you. Sharon
Christina, We at the Red Cross were so sorry to hear about your Mom. Many people have asked about you and are keeping you in our prayers.God Bless, Sharon McAllister
Chris- What a great tribute to your mom! That picture of the 3 of you is great. And I didnt know her middle name was Elizabeth either or that she spoke swedish for so long as a child, did she still remember any of it? Much love, Anna
Vi will always be remembered by her loving daughter and friends. Sara
Chris and family, I met Vi when I came to work at Detex in 1981. We became friends quickly, Vi always had a smile and nice words for everyone. Even though she retired from Detex 5 short years later we would still bump into each other and always exchanged Christmas cards. Vi was and will always be one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with and knowing. Now Vi has gone to her beloved Joe. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of great sadness. Sincerly, Karen Morin
Those we love live forever in our hearts
I was shocked to hear of your mom’s passing. All I can think is that she was so truly lucky to have been in good health and clear mind to the end and did not have to suffer the indignities of being an invalid in her old age. She lived her life with grace and dignity and left the same way. Bless her heart, she was lucky to have you. Much love and prayers come your way, Nancy
When I saw you on the street the other day, I had no idea you were in the midst of the hardest time in your life. I am saddened to hear of Vi’s passing and send you thoughts of peace and comfort during this time. You and she had a very special bond and I know you will have many memories to help you through this. Your faith is strong, your head knows how you’re supposed to feel, but remember you also have many valuable friends who are here when you need them. Love, Dana P.S. When reading your write-up, I had tears of sadness and joy as I could just “hear” you telling her story! Fabulous work….
Vi was my best friend,& the memoriesI have when we were young & gay are beautiful, My heart goes out to you Cristine in your great loss. God will give you the strength you’ll need during this very sad time. I’ll surely miss Vi, even though we were far apart in miles, but always close in heart. Take care,& much sympathy. Virginia
christine you are in our hearts and prayers. your mother was an all around beautiful person. love to you—uncle tony, aunt alice, and cousin judy.
Christina, your mother sounds like she was a very special person. My condolences on her death, but it sounds like hers was a life well-lived. God bless you during this time. Karen Davis, member of Globetrotters
Christina: I am so sorry for your loss; I know that you were a fantastic daughter to your mother and loved her dearly and that she will be sorely missed. With all best wishes, and thinking of you in this very difficult time. Iona and the London Globetrotters Club
Dear Christina and Family, I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. Vi sounds like she was quite a lady and I know you miss her. I wish you God’s blessings and comfort. Warmly, Andrea Shelton
Dear Christina-I was surprised to read about Vi. I’ll always remember what a friendly, joyful woman she was to be around all those years at HNB. I’m so sorry for your lost. Thank you for the lovely words about her because I really didn’t know her like others may have. We’ll have to get together for walks again and talk about Vi, O.K. Love you always, Reatha
Christina, Chris and I are so sorry to hear about your mother. Through your beautiful memorial tribute, I feel like I know her a little now. Thanks for sharing her with us. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Take care, Julie (Globetrotters)
Dear Christina, My deepest Sympathy in the Loss of your Mother. Our Loved ones pass on but they stay in our Hearts forever.My Thoughts and Prayers are with you at this sad Time. God bless you Hilda Vazquez
Dearest Christina, We are so sorry to hear of your mother’s death. We only met her once at the Globetrotter’s picnic, but we feel we know her now, from your beautiful tribute. The picture reminded me of my own childhood in Minnesota. May God Bless and Comfort you in your Sorrow.
Christina, You’re in my prayers. God bless your mother. Chuck Barker
Dearest Christina…What a wonderful tribute to your wonderful mother!!! Although I only met her once, I feel her loss through you. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. The death of a parent is grievous. Accept the love of your friends… I’d like to share a favorite poem: Do not stand at my grave and weep. I am not there. I do not sleep. I am a thousand winds that blow. I am the diamond glints on snow. I am the sunlight on ripened grain. I am the gentle autumn rain. When you awaken in the morning’s hush, I am the swift uplifting rush of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry. I am not there. I did not die. Anonymous All my love to you, my friend…Mariann
Dear Christina I was very sad to hear of your loss. With all best wishes. Paul Roberts London
Dear Chris… I just received the news about your Mom and wanted to say how sorry I am to hear about your loss. But I also want to thank you for sharing the lovely summary of Vi’s life. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Love Sue
Dear Aunti Vi, I just love you. Uncle Tony has joined you now and I am sure that you are happy to be together. I often think of the nice things that you did for me. Your sprit lives on in my heart. Love, Sonja Josephine