The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 24, 2006

Ohio's oldest citizen dies in Jefferson


Staff Writer

JEFFERSON - - Ohio's oldest citizen, Mary Margaret Smith, 112, of Jefferson, died Tuesday at the Jefferson Geriatric and Rehabilitation Center.

Born Oct. 7, 1893, in Pittsburgh, Smith survived the Great Depression, two world wars and outlived two husbands, and most of her siblings and friends. She was the daughter of Jacob and Mary Margaret Metzler, who came to the Jefferson area in 1898.

Before her death, Smith was the subject of several stories in the Star Beacon. She was the fifth oldest living person in the United States, according to the Validated Living Supercentenarian List, earlier this year.

During one of her last interviews, the county's oldest lady attributed her longevity to her fine dancing skills. As a young woman, she and her first husband won dance contests.

She recalled growing up on a farm in Dorset Township at a time when people got around by horse and buggy, not cars. Smith enjoyed sewing, cooking and caring for her home.

She lived with her daughter and son-in-law, Jean and Thomas Waldron of Jefferson for 13 years before moving into the Jefferson Geriatric Center four years ago. Smith took a great interest in current events and was an avid reader until her eyesight failed.

At the time of her death, the Jefferson woman was the 13th oldest person in the world, of certified supercentenarians. Smith is survived by a 99-year-old sister, Catherine Naughton; two daughters, Jean M. Waldron and Mary Alice Riley; a son, Thomas J. Smith; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Services for Smith will be at noon Friday in the Harris Memorial Presbyterian Church, 5807 Adams Ave., Ashtabula. The Rev. Arvid Whitmore will officiate. Burial will be in Oakdale Cemetery, Jefferson.

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