Marcia Smith, 83, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY — Marcia Smith, 83, of Watertown, passed peacefully Oct. 18, 2018, at Samaritan Medical Center after a short illness.

Calling hours will be 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at Reed & Benoit Funeral Home, with a 10:30 a.m. funeral service on Monday, Oct. 22. Burial will follow in Black River Cemetery.

She was born April 27, 1935, in Carthage, the daughter of Herman L Zahn, Sr. and Vera Weir Zahn.

She was predeceased by her older brother Herman L Zahn, Jr, and is survived by her brother Donald W. Zahn, Watertown, and her son, Dr. Patrick B Smith, Liverpool, NY. She was married to Paul T Smith, in 1969, which later ended in divorce.

Marcia attended Syracuse University and graduated with a BA in English in 1958, and a master’s from Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College in 1962.

She had a long and successful teaching career in high school English at South Jefferson Central School in Adams, NY from 1958 through 1998. Project Advance, sponsored by Syracuse University, and AP English were interests in her career and she thoroughly enjoyed these opportunities for her and her students. She was very proud of her English Teacher of Excellence Award from the NYS English Council in 1989. Marcia exemplified educational professionalism and she had high expectations for her students. She loved to teach, and she let her love of literature guide the class.

Through her years as a teacher, she connected and touched many lives. How many people have composed a letter or read an article and heard her voice in the back of their head say, “is that spelled correctly? Is your punctuation correct?” In retirement, Marcia enjoyed many home projects; decorating, landscaping, gardening and baking. She enjoyed being outdoors and she was always eager to mow her lawn, even if it was brown, because there was always a weed somewhere.

She was very loyal to her friends and enjoyed her time spent reminiscing and planning small trips.  Her love of her dogs was always worn on her sleeve. She always had pictures to show you from her pocketbook.

Marcia’s retirement years included volunteering at the Samaritan Medical Center information desk. She spent 19 years greeting and guiding visitors coming to the hospital and renewed many friendships from the past including so many of her former students who thought so much of their teacher. She appreciated the kind words and encouragement from these former students as they would recount a story about a memory from their days with her as their teacher.

Her greatest accomplishment, she would admit, is her son. So very proud of his accomplishments and the time they spent together over the years. Her devotion and constant concern helped forge a strong relationship that carried her through her later years as she battled COPD. Her son will, of course, miss her most of all after having shared so many highs and lows in their lives together.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Black River Ambulance Squad, 121 Leray St., Black River, NY 13612.

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