Bette J. (Craib) Smith, affectionately known as “Nan” to her family and friends died peacefully on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at the Kaplan Family Hospice House following a brief and courageous battle with cancer at the age of 82.
Bette was born on Christmas Eve in 1932 in Boston, MA; she was the cherished daughter of the late John and Thelma (Doncaster) Craib. Bette was raised and educated in Somerville, MA and a graduate of Somerville High School with the Class of 1950. Following graduation, Bette enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. on May 17, 1951. While proudly serving the country during the Korean War, Bette met and fell in love with a fellow Marine, Arthur R. Smith, Jr. and the couple were married four months later. Bette was honorably discharged in Quantico, Virginia, on July 2, 1952; earning her rank as Sergeant.
Bette and Arthur lived in Virginia and then moved to Tewksbury briefly before settling in Wilmington in 1960, where they raised their six children. Family was everything to Bette, she was a wonderful wife and mother; she showered her family with unconditional love and devotion. Bette’s world became more enriched when her grandchildren started to arrive and she became the best “Nan” they could ask for. Bette just couldn’t get enough of her grandchildren and she looked forward to taking care of them whenever she could.
Bette wouldn’t miss an opportunity to be with her family and she always beamed with pride as she spoke of each and every one of them.
Bette spent many years as a book keeper for the family business and in her spare time she enjoyed going to Wilmington Public Library and taking her weekly trips to the 99 Restaurant with her family and friends.
Bette will be fondly remembered as being quite a lady; sweet and kind, helpful and loving. She was truly one of a kind and will be greatly missed by all.
Bette was the beloved wife of 49 years to the late Arthur R. Smith, Jr., devoted mother of Mark A. Smith and his wife Patricia of Andover, MA, Lisa J. Smith of Portland, ME, Lynne S. (Guzinski) Johnston and her husband Wilston of Wilmington, MA, Leane B. Schofield of Wilmington, MA, Lauren J. Smith of Wilmington, MA, and Gregg A. Smith and his wife Kimberly of La Jolla, CA. Loving “Nan” of Jason and Dean Smith of Andover, MA, Ian and Eric Worden of Portland, ME, Joel Guzinski and his wife Maddie of Norwood, MA, Jillian Guzinski of Norfolk, MA, Patrick and Brittany Schofield of Wilmington, MA, Jack Smith of La Jolla, CA, and her great-grandson, Lucas Rosen of Wilmington, MA. Bette is also survived by her sister Thelma Baker of Bristol, NH, and her brother Robert Craib and his wife Helen of Seabrook, NH. Bette is pre-deceased by her parents John and Thelma Craib of Somerville, MA, and her late son-in-law, Thomas Guzinski of Wilmington. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends are invited to calling hours on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, from 4 pm to 8 pm at the Nichols Funeral Home at 187 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, MA. A funeral home service will be held on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at 9:30 am followed internment with military honors at Wildwood Cemetery in Wilmington. Memorial donations may be made in Bette’s name to LUNGevity Foundation, 228 South Wabash Ave., Suite 700, Chicago, IL 60604 or at www.lungevity.org.