Constance Grace Theresa Marie “Conni” Smith, age 87 years of Niles, Michigan died peacefully at 12:15 a.m. on Friday, July 26, 2019 with family at her bedside at Spectrum Lakeland - Niles Hospital following a brief illness.
She was born on September 7, 1931 in Spring Valley, Illinois to William and Barbara (Trijonys) Harris. At 11 years old, she moved with her family to Niles, was graduated from Niles High School, and lived in Niles the rest of her life. She also graduated from the Vogue Beauty College in South Bend, Indiana (now in Mishawaka, Indiana), and had a chair in a beauty shop for a few years before opening her first salon. She eventually had three salons, including “Conni’s Gateway To Beauty” at 516 Cedar Street in Niles.
Conni was a founding member of Saint Mark Catholic Church in Niles where she also sang in the choir and participated in the Christian Mothers.
Her family remembers her generosity and understanding, being blessed with the ability to forgive and love without question. Her sense of humor will be terribly missed. “We have faith that she is now in God’s embrace”.
On April 15, 1950 in South Bend she married Robert T. Smith with whom she celebrated the remarkable fifty-seventh anniversary of their wedding prior to his death on May 9, 2007. They were sadly also preceded in death by a seven year old daughter, Deborah Jean Smith on March 12, 1965; grandsons, David Smith who died at birth in 1972, and Nicholas Poehlman who died in 1998; and Conni’s brother, William H. Harris, Jr. in 1980.
Surviving family includes Bob and Conni’s children David A. (& Penny) Smith of Brownsburg, Indiana, Teresa (& Mark) Poehlman of Schoolcraft, Michigan, and Sheila (& Mike Cook) Smith of Niles; grandchildren Angela (& Greg) Schmoyer, Richard (& Wira) Winburn, Anthony Poehlman, Morgyn (& John Dominick) Heim, Jennifer (& Scott) Mercer, and David (& Jennifer) Smith; eighteen great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild; and many nieces and nephews.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Constance T. Smith will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 1, 2019 at Saint Mark Catholic Church, 3 North Nineteenth Street in Niles by the Rev. Thomas King, C.S.C. assisted by Brother Dennis Meyers, C.S.C. Committal Rites will follow at Mission Hills.
The family will receive relatives and friends on Wednesday at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. with recitation of The Rosary at 7:30 p.m. Mass intentions for the repose of the soul of Conni Smith will be appreciated by her family.
Mass intentions for the repose of the soul will be appreciated by the family.