Mary D. Smith of North Wales, Pennsylvania, passed away on February 11, 2023 at Grand View Hospital after falling and suffering a severe concussion. She was 80 years old. She was the wife of Lyle E. Smith.
Born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, she was the daughter of Eldon Dilocker and Mildred F. Orr.
Mary spent many years as a homemaker and corporate housewife to Mike Balint while raising their three sons, Steve, Matt, and Nick. As her husband climbed the corporate ladder at Ingersoll Rand, the family moved to different states and even Australia, where Nick was born. She completed her bachelor of arts degree in 1979 at Patterson State University with a major in Special Education. When their marriage ended in 1986, Mary moved the boys from Tennessee to New Jersey. She taught for a couple of years and then went into real estate. Later she became administrative assistant to the Chancellor of the City University of New York and then to the President and CEO of Engender Health. She ended her professional career as Director of Development at Summit Speech School. Along the way, she earned a master of arts degree in Humanities in 2003 at California State University Dominguez Hills. This fully accredited degree was offered as a home study program requiring no classroom attendance. It was there that she met Professor Lyle Smith, who mentored her extraordinary thesis on Moby Dick. After completing her degree, she and Lyle married in September 2003.
Mary had an exceptional intellect and was a caring, compassionate woman with a delightful sense of humor. She loved reading, and her extensive library reflected her diverse interests. She had books on American and British literature; world literature, including Arab novels; on feminism, which shaped her thinking in many different ways; and on history, politics, and philosophy, including the works of feminist Mary Daly, environmentalist Wendell Berry, and political activist and literary historian Edward Said. She was concerned about the plight of the Palestinians, the need for sensible gun laws, abortion and other feminist rights, population control, climate change, structural racism, and the disastrous Trump presidency. She attended lectures and rallies, always hoping that the politicians would act more rationally and sympathetically.
Most of all, she loved her children and grandchildren, always wanting them to be happy and successful. And she loved her two Airedales, Sammy and Katie (deceased), and her recently acquired rescue dog, Annie, a Labradoodle. Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday where she had the opportunity to break bread with all her immediate family.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by: Steven and Stephanie Balint, and their children, Isabella, Alexander, and Christian; Matthew and Deborah Balint, and their children, Douglas and Christina; and Nicholas and Elena Balint, and their children, Maren and Audrey. She is also survived by her sister Susan Meader, and her children—Scott Meader, Michelle Wolf, Craig Meader, James Meader, and Pamela Perry—and their families. Finally, she is survived by several first cousins, among them Curt Dilocker, his wife Bobbie, and their children.
There will be a private family service celebrating Mary’s exceptional life.
Memorial contributions may be made to three of her favorite charities: Engender Health (engenderhealth.org), Smile Train (smiletrain.org), or Heifer International (heifer.org).