April 28, 1947 – October 3, 2013
Obituaries » JOSETTE M. SMITH
SMITH, JOSETTE MICHELLE, 66, passed away in the comfort of her family in Waterbury Center, on October 3. Born in Montpelier, April 28, 1947, she was the daughter of the late Leon and Lucia (Backus) Griffith. On Jan. 19, 1980, she married Christopher C. Smith in Boca Raton, Fla. Michelle was raised in a loving family in Waterbury Center. Since she was 13, she had been a continuous member of the Waterbury Center Community Church. She attended Waterbury Center Elementary School and was a 1965 graduate of Waterbury High School. Following graduation she enrolled in the Mary Fletcher Hospital School of Nursing in Burlington. She graduated with honors in 1969 and promptly moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with her best friend from nursing school. From 1969 to 1981, she worked at Broward General Hospital and Boca Raton Community Hospital. She steadily rose through the ranks from floor nurse to head nurse of critical, intensive, and medical care units. When she left Boca Raton Community Hospital in 1981, she had attained the position of nurse clinician, but even more impressive, the love and respect of all she came in contact with. In 1981, she and Chris moved back to Waterbury. She worked for a while at Dr. Robert Murray’s medical office but soon decided to take a break from nursing. She went to work for Vermont Realty Exchange, achieving numerous professional ratings and awards. She finished her real estate career as the Vermont Realtors Association liaison to the Vermont Legislature. In 1992, Chris had a wonderful job opportunity, and they moved to Lake Wylie, S.C. Michelle spent 10 years with the South Carolina DHEC, caring for patients as a home health care nurse. In 2003, she and Chris moved to Palm Coast, Fla, where Michelle took on her last, and in some ways most rewarding, nursing challenge. She was the school nurse at Old King’s Elementary School, responsible for over 1,100 children and the school staff. She always came home tired but so very happy to have worked with the kids. In the spring of 2007, Michelle retired and started enjoying time at their summer home in Glendale Springs, N.C. Michelle had always been an animal lover but had been especially drawn to boxers. Through the years she also had cats and was kind to any animal she came into contact with. Michelle’s two favorite pastimes were golf and travel. When she returned to Waterbury in 1981, she became a fixture at Blush Hill Country Club. One of her favorite photos is of her and Chris riding an elephant in Chiang Mai, in the northern part of Thailand. In 2005, for their 25th anniversary, she and Chris spent 12 days on a safari in Tanzania. In her final years she bravely battled her cancer, lasting so much longer than expected, and she was considered a miracle by some of her physicians. Her final days were spent resting at her sister’s home in Waterbury Center, surrounded by the mountains in which she was raised and the family that she so dearly cherished. Michelle is survived by her husband of 33 years, Chris Smith, of Salt Springs, Fla.; her sisters, Betty Anne Libby, of Waterbury Center, Cindy Griffith, of Middlesex, and Noni Augustoni, of Largom, Fla.; as well as nieces, nephews and extended family.