Cover photo for Mary Simpson Smart's Obituary
Mary Simpson Smart Profile Photo

Mary Simpson Smart

d. June 10, 2019


Mary Simpson Smart, daughter of the late Dr. and Mrs. R. Spencer Simpson, died Monday, June 10, 2019, at Newark-Wayne Community Hospital. She was 103 years old.

A graduate of Lyons schools and of Wellesley College, like her mother before her, she worked at Time, Inc., in New York City and at movie studios in Hollywood, pursuing her passion as a writer and supporting herself as a secretary, most rewardingly as personal assistant to actress Joan Fontaine.

Returning to Lyons in 1948, she married local businessman William J. Smart on November 4, 1949, and for a number of years wrote and published numerous articles on local history, as well as a short story, “Shaw’s Law” in the February, 1950 issue of “Woman’s Day.”  For decades she also researched the personal papers of American Beaux Arts Sculptor Frederick MacMonnies.  Her definitive biography, “A Flight with Fame, the Life and Art of Frederick MacMonnies was published in 1996.

Predeceased by her husband William Smart in 2002, two sisters; Anne Simpson (Howard, III) Babcock of Ithaca, NY and Roswell, NM in 1996 and Ellen Simpson (Steve) Hawley of Batavia, NY in 1986.

She is survived by her two children; Stuart Smart (Anne Salerno) of Lyons and Sarah Smart Phillips (Stephen Campbell) of Boston, MA; two grandchildren, Caitlin Phillips LeGros and Evan Phillips; two great-grandchildren, Owen and Olivia LeGros; several nieces and nephews.

Friends and family are invited to calling hours on Saturday, June 29, 2019, from 10-11 a.m. at Grace Episcopal Church, Phelps St., Lyons, where a memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. with a reception to follow.  Private burial will be in South Lyons Cemetery.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Simpson Smart, please visit our flower store.


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