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Published: Friday, 3/17/2006

Fostoria nurse was a dedicated blood donor

FOSTORIA - Mary Jane Smith, 95, a retired director of nursing at Fostoria Community Hospital and an avid blood donor, died of apparent heart failure Monday in the Fairhaven Community nursing home in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

Mrs. Smith was the director of nursing for 25 years, from about 1953 until retiring in 1978 after more than 50 years of service as a registered nurse.

Over the years, Mrs. Smith donated 15 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross.

Her son, Clark Smith, said that she enjoyed helping others.

"I tried to keep up with her, but I only donated 10 gallons," Mr. Smith said. "She was a great person. She had the love of God in her heart."

After her retirement, the hospital established an annual Mary Jane Smith Excellency in Nursing Award for registered and licensed practical nurses.

Over the years, Mrs. Smith was interim hospital administrator more than once and was on the hospital board for nine years.

Mrs. Smith, a Fostoria native, graduated from the former Jackson-Liberty High School in 1928 and from the former Mary Miller School of Nursing, Fremont, and the Cleveland City School of Nursing in the early 1930s.

A mother of four, Mrs. Smith was named Mother of the Year in 1956 by the city of Fostoria and Woman of the Year by the Business and Professional Club, Fostoria.

In her free time, Mrs. Smith was active in the High Street United Methodist Church, Fostoria, where she was a member, a past trustee, and a member of the Pathfinders Sunday School Class.

Her other memberships included Fostoria Chapter of the Order of Eastern Stars, where she was the organist for more than 30 years; Royal Neighbors Group, Tiffin, and the Jane Washington Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Fostoria, of which she was a past regent.

She also was a charter member of the Fostoria Historical Society and past president of the Fairhaven Community residents' council.

Mrs. Smith married Albert E. Smith in 1937. He died in 1953.

Surviving are her sons, Clark Smith and Carroll Smith; two grandsons, and a great-grandson.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow in High Street United Methodist Church, Fostoria. The body will be at the Harrold-Floriana Funeral Home, Fostoria, after 2 p.m. today, with an Eastern Star service at 6 p.m.

The family suggests tributes to the church.

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