Mary. L. SmithMary L. Smith, age 94 of Webberville MI, died on March 16, 2020. She was born March 30, 1925, in Iliff CO, the daughter of Jess & Mary (Abood) Korrey. Her mother died when she was a newborn. Her father, an immigrant from Lebanon, subsequently moved to Lansing to find a wife among Lansing’s Lebanese immigrant population. She has lived in Michigan since she was two years old. She was educated to the 9th grade at West Junior High School in Lansing.
Mary was a 50-year smoker of unfiltered cigarettes, quitting at age 72, and was a survivor of ovarian cancer at age 25 and then breast cancer at 80.
She went to work at Nash Calvinator in 1940 at age 15. Later, Mary and her husband, Norman, had a harness racing career from 1963-1988 with up to 100 horses at one time, owning two farms in Webberville and Melbourne Fl. During that time, in 1972, she went to work at an electrical auto assembly plant for awhile.
Mary also worked on and off in the food industry, starting in 1943 at her brother’s restaurant, Sip-N-Snack in Okemos, with Jim & Val Korrey, where she waitressed.
Mary operated her own restaurant business in Webberville at the corner of West Grand River and Elm Road for several years. The day after she closed, she went to the McDonalds in Webberville and asked for a job. She was hired and worked there for 18 years until she took a hiatus this winter to avoid driving. Her plans were to go back to work later this month on her 95th birthday. She passed away two weeks before that date.
She met her husband, Norman, a plumber at Oldsmobile, in 1944 when he drove by her when she was walking along the street. They were married for over 49 years before he died in 1993 at age 66 of a heart attack—the same way she died.
Because her cancer treatment had left her infertile, the couple adopted two boys: Ted and Eugene.
She is survived by both sons: Theodore Smith, age 68, and Eugene Smith, age 64, and daughter-in-law Cindy Smith, all of Webberville. She also has three surviving grandchildren: Gene Smith (Williamston), April Smith (Ohio), and Beverlyn Salva (Webberville, along with two great-grandchildren: Aaron Smith and Gabriella Smith.
Preceding her in death were three brothers: Jim Korrey, Val Korrey, and David Korrey, and one sister: Helen Duling.
A SPECIAL thank you to all her friends and workmates that assisted Mary throughout her difficult times. Our family will never forget your love for Mary.
Mary donated her body to MSU Anatomical Resources for science study, They have called with MANY THANK YOUs to our family for honoring her wishes. They said that students and doctors will learn very much for humanity and disease study. Paying it forward is who Mary was.
In lieu of flowers, please feel free to send contributions in Mary's name to:
Calvary Baptist Church Benevolent Fund
500 N. Howard St., Webberville MI 48892