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Remembering Elizabeth Skinner Smith


June 26, 1925- March 9, 2023


Elizabeth Skinner Smith (Liz), 97, passed away on March 9, 2023. Born June 26, 1925 in St. Louis, MO to Celeste MacMillan and Walter Rumsey Skinner, she was a longtime resident of Montclair, NJ and lived in Maplewood, NJ at the time of her death.


Liz attended Mary Institute in St. Louis (1943), Pine Manor Junior College in Boston (1945) and Washington University in St. Louis (1947). After college she married Wyot David Woods and moved to Montclair, NJ where she lovingly raised three children. In 1973, Liz married John Heyward Smith.


An accomplished gardener, Liz attended the New York Botanical Garden for Landscape Design from 1975-1978 and started a successful business, Landscape Concepts, with two Montclair friends. She retired after 21 years in 1999.


Liz was also active in many volunteer activities late into life: She was on the board of The Garden Club of Montclair and theJunior League of Montclair-Newark as well as President of St. Luke’s Church Women. She headed the Buildings and Grounds Committee at St. Luke’s, which she served on for 25 years. Likewise, she headed the Resident Buildings and Grounds Committee and served on the Resident Executive Committee of Winchester Gardens, where she lived the past 20 years. Liz was also proud to be a founding and longtime member of Futures Ltd., a prosperous investment group of women in Montclair. Her interests included competitive tennis and paddle tennis with several club championships to her credit, bridge, needlepoint, and reading. She adored her family and friends and had a warm contagious laugh.


Liz is predeceased by her beloved husband of 40 years, John Smith. She is also predeceased by her first husband, Wyot Woods, her daughter Cynthia Woods, and her stepdaughter, Patricia Karamanos. She is survived by her son and daughter, David Woods of Stamford, CT, and Susan Woods Day of Chapel Hill, NC and two stepsons, Garrett Smith of New York City and Douglas Smith of Portland, OR as well as seven grandchildren, Wyot, Nicholas and Jack Woods of Greenwich, CT, Andrew Day of Chapel Hill, NC, Katharine Day of Washington, DC,John and Benjamin Karamanos of Portland, OR and four great grandchildren.


A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on April 29 at St. Luke’s Church, 73 S. Fullerton Ave, Montclair, NJ. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be given to the Winchester Gardens Scholarship Fund (333 Elmwood Ave, Maplewood, NJ 07040) or to the St. Luke’s Memorial Trust Fund (73 S. Fullerton Ave, Montclair, NJ, 07042).

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