Our beloved matriarch, Geraldine Lucille Smith ended her 103-year journey through life on April 12, 2021, at TidalHealth Hospice Care in Seaford.

Geraldine Lucille Matthews was born on Aug. 30, 1917 to Roland and Clara Matthews. She spent most of her childhood in Dayton, Md. She worked hard doing chores inside and outside of the home to help her mother. She thought her family was the “hardest working family in Dayton”. She loved school and completed grade 7 twice, the highest level in the colored school she attended. She and her sister Alda were very close growing up, working and playing together. She always had a love for children and helping others and desired to be a nurse or teacher from a very young age.

At the age of 18, Geraldine rode the B&O railroad to New York City on March 17, 1935. She lived with her Aunt Eloise until she found work as a live-in housekeeper and babysitter in Queens, NY. Here she met her future husband, Charles Smith, and they married, Aug. 16, 1938, and raised six children and a niece. Geraldine and Charlie (as he was called), had good times together, attending movies, ball games and sometimes dances (Geraldine loved to dance), as well as enjoying time with Charlie’s family. They both loved to laugh through the good and bad times. Even when times were lean, they managed to make birthday and holiday celebrations very special for their six children. In later years when their children were young adults, Geraldine and Charlie enjoyed taking road trips each summer to different areas of the country and a Caribbean cruise.    

After Geraldine’s husband passed in 1982, she returned to her home state of Maryland, settling in Columbia in 1984. Geraldine did not become a teacher or nurse, but she found a way to fulfill her desire to work with children and assist others in need. For 10 years she raised money for the March of Dimes, participating in their annual Walkathon. She participated in the Meals on Wheels program by delivering meals and being company to elderly shut-ins. She participated in the Maryland literacy program as a volunteer, reading to second grade children and teaching adults to read. Always wanting to help others, during the 1960 Civil Rights movement, Geraldine joined in the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama for voting rights.

Geraldine had a dream to travel on the B&O railroad from Elliott City to somewhere one day, and that dream was realized beyond her expectations. She traveled throughout the 50 United States, including Hawaii, by train, car, and airplane. She also went to Mexico, Canada, and Alaska in a motorhome with her eldest daughter.  She loved being on the road and she eagerly assisted her daughter with the many chores required to travel in a recreational vehicle (RV).   

In 2012, Geraldine became a resident of Bridgeville (Heritage Shores) to live closer to two of her children. She lived an active but slower life at Heritage Shores. Year-round she took daily walks, read novels and magazines, and enjoyed sitting on her patio taking in the warm breezes. She participated in chair exercise classes and several activities offered at the clubhouse. She attended Sunday services, took shopping trips, and went sightseeing with her daughter and family. Geraldine enjoyed her new community, being close to family and the friendliness of her neighbors. Heritage Shores was her last home.

Geraldine Lucille Smith loved the Lord. She was a devoted wife, mother and homemaker and was very involved in the lives of her grandchildren. She was unselfish with her love and kindness toward all of her family. 

Geraldine was predeceased by her husband, Charles Smith; sister, Alda Gaither; grandson, Zelmo Smith; nieces, Gloria Freeman and Sarah Scarborough. Geraldine leaves behind to cherish her memory six children: Lucille Smith, Charles Smith, Jr. (Patricia), Eloise Robinson (James), William Smith, Annette Cottrell (Stanley), Mildred Smith-Evans; five grandchildren: Raheem Cash, Roland Smith, Kima Day, David Robinson, Jasmine Wilson (Kevin); six great-grandchildren: Tequinn Day, Malik Cash, Essence Smith, Khaleed Cash, Eternity Smith, Kevin Wilson III; nieces: Barbara Stewart, Erma Brown, Dottie Cook, Velma Freeman, Yvonne Mack and other family and friends.

“The Spirit of those who have touched us with their heart is Eternal”.

We will never say goodbye because she will forever live in our hearts!

Geraldine’s thought on longevity: It’s God’s will.

All services will be private. A funeral service via live streaming was held on Monday, April 19.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Parsell Funeral Homes and Crematorium, Hardesty Chapel in Bridgeville.

Memorial contributions may be made in Mrs. Geraldine Smith’s memory to Mt. Calvary UMC, P.O. Box 271, Bridgeville, DE 19933 or Union UMC, 2 N. Laws St., Bridgeville, DE 19933, note: renovation fund.

Please visit Mrs. Smith’s Life Memorial Webpage and sign her virtual guestbook at www.parsellfuneralhomes.com.