With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of Maureen S. (Morse) Smith, who left us on August 25, 2023. Maureen was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts on May 12, 1950 -- the third of eight children of Natalie and Donald Morse and their eldest daughter.
Maureen was an independent thinker whose life was shaped by courageous choices and hard work in the face of life's challenges. Perhaps this is best illustrated by her college career, which began in 1981, at the untraditional age of 31. She majored in Computer Science, before most people had even touched a computer. While in college, she tried her hand at hang-gliding -- despite her fear of heights. She was also elected to the student government association -- despite her fear of public speaking. After graduating in 1985, she went to work at General Electric, where she would develop cutting-edge, Top Secret software for the nuclear turbines GE produced at the time -- decades before anyone would begin talking about the challenges faced by women in STEM. And she did all of that as a single mother.
Maureen was a life-long learner. She always had a book nearby...and a deck of cards. She played solitaire perhaps more than any other person in history. Despite insisting that she was not a creative person, Maureen was always creating in some new medium -- candle-making, sewing, cross-stitching, cooking, painting, restoring furniture, baking, programming, gardening, and building. Perhaps her greatest joy in life, though, was printing labels and alphabetizing everything, from 8-track tapes to DVDs; from tins of sewing supplies to boxes of camping gear.
Maureen was fiercely independent and quick-witted. She liked to help and loved to teach. She loved being a grandmother and great-grandmother. She was active in Scouting, YMCA Summer Camp, Church, and Sunday School. She participated in studies to advance the understanding of diabetes and volunteered with organizations providing support for those suffering from mental illness.
Maureen is survived by her son, Reid, daughter-in-law, Taline, and their children, Areni and Reid IV. She also leaves behind a sprawling, untraditional family of countless people who have been touched by her -- siblings, friends, ex-in-laws, step-children, -grandchildren, -great-grandchildren, students, parishioners, and neighbors.
A memorial service will be held in Maureen's honor on Friday, September 1, 2023, at 11:00 AM at the Messiah Lutheran Church, 750 Rindge Road, Fitchburg, MA. In lieu of flowers, Maureen kindly requests that donations be made to the Joslin Diabetes Center.
To send an online condolence please visit www.brandonfuneral.com.
Brandon Funeral Home, 305 Wanoosnoc Road, Fitchburg is directing arrangements.