Bette J. Smith

April 22nd, 2015

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


10 Entries in Guest Book for “Bette J. Smith”

  1. Janis and Scott Mosher says:

    Praying for all of you at this time of loss. Your Mom was a special lady and will be dearly missed!

  2. Christine perkins says:

    Her laugh was infectious and will be missed. Hoping your best memories get you all through this time of loss.

  3. Robert and Susan Cunio says:

    Dearest Friend,

    We are praying over you and your family daily while you grieve. Know that you are loved!

  4. Sue Rich says:

    Art and I enjoyed Uncle Art and Aunt Bette’s visits to Des Moines. They were great together with Midi and Frank. Lots of fun! All of them are missed here, but such great memories! Take care.
    My deepest sympathy to all of you for the loss of your mother.

  5. Kathleen Serio says:

    I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. My prayers for peace in your time of grief.

  6. Marie and Bob Doyle says:

    I was so sorry to hear of Aunt Bette’s death and I so wish I could be there with the family to honor her. Bette was the only aunt I really knew from my mother’s side of the family. Memories of her smile and the great times she, Uncle Art and my parents had when they were together make me smile. They loved having a great time together! May memories of the good times help you through this difficult time.

    With love your cousin Marie Rich Doyle

  7. Gale Smith says:

    I have very fond memories of Bette and how involved she was in her children’s lives and their endless activities, always offering to help out with special projects and how welcomed she made me feel in her home. It was so obvious how much she loved her children and that she enjoyed having their friends in her home. My heart and thoughts are with the family as you remember her on this occasion and celebrate her love and her life. Many blessings to you all.

  8. David Jordan says:

    So sorry to hear of your moms death. Praying that God would give you peace, comfort and strength.

    God Bless!

  9. Madonna Toto SALON ESSENCE says:

    On Behalf of SALON ESSENCE OF WILMINGTON we would to extend our sincere condolences at this time…Bette would not miss a Thursday morning with Nancy.
    I started early on Thursday mornings as well and always enjoyed seeing her smiling face. She will always and forever be in your mind and hearts..

  10. Leslie & Danny Eldridge says:

    Dear Lynne,
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. We were also saddened to learn that Tom had passed away. So sorry for your losses.
    May your memories be your comfort.

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