Norine (Dee) Claffey Smyth, 94 years old, passed peacefully of natural causes at Lakeland Hospital on August 15.
Dee was the 4th and last child of Norine and Edward James Claffey, born on March 1, 1926. She attended Joseph Sears School in Kenilworth, Marywood High School, and Rosemont College, where she studied psychology. Dee married the love of her life, Robert W. Smyth, in August 1947. Dee and Bob’s mothers were old friends and yet Dee and Bob had never met until shortly after WW II. They never spent a moment apart for the next 61 years.
Dee and Bob settled in Winnetka, and spent summers in Williams Bay, Wi, in the Smyth Family’s home. Dee was a skilled golfer and won a fair share of tournaments at Lake Geneva Country Club, and was one of the first women to play at Augusta National, as the guest of Sam and Nancy Culbertson.
Dee was known for her exquisite taste and sense of style, and she had an artist’s eye for design. She was an accomplished gardener and flower arranger, with flowers cut from the many beds surrounding her home. Dee loved dance, especially ballet, and took classes for many years, studying under Florence Voss, and life-long friend Cuzzie Sutton. Dee will be missed by her many dear and loyal friends in addition to her loving family.
Dee was preceded in death by her husband Bob in 2008, and her third child Carla in 2014. She is survived by her loving daughters, Norine , Ragen Gillam (Mike), and her son, Rob, her loving grandchildren Lisa Marie Moulton Gettier (Paul), Henry Gillam (Elizabeth), Rosie Gillam (Josh Bland), Aubrie Smyth, Robby Smyth, and Jackson Smyth, and 1 great-granddaughter, Lila Ann Gettier. In lieu of flowers, Dee’s wish was that donations be considered for the William Guy Forbeck Research Foundation.
Dee’s beauty, style and resilience as well as her loving kindness will remain an inspiration to her family.
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Derrick Funeral Home is honored to be assisting the Smyth family.
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