Irene June (Baxter) Smith, 82, former resident of Canton, died on Saturday, January 18, 2014 at home, with her family by her side, while under the care of Hospice of Jefferson County. She was born June 19, 1931 to Delbert and Leora (Nichols) Baxter in a farmhouse near Knapps Station, NY. She graduated from Norfolk High School in 1948 and St. Lawrence State Hospital School of Nursing in 1952. She married Lawrence J. Smith on October 4, 1952 at Notre Dame Church in Ogdensburg, NY with the Very Rev. A. D. Charbonneau, officiating. After a brief career in nursing, she and her husband owned and managed a dairy farm in Canton, NY.
Mrs. Smiths main focus of her life was her family. She also had extensive interest in gardening and preserving her harvest, carpentry, woodworking, music, and card games. As an avid reader and collector of books, Irene was a lifelong learner in a wide variety of subjects. In later years, Irene was a passionate fan of Syracuse University Basketball.
Irene lived at the United Helpers Adult Home briefly before moving to Ives Hill Retirement Community in Watertown, NY to be near her daughter Paula.
She is survived by eight children; Linda (Gary) Angotto of Norwalk, CT; Donna (Kevin) Legg of Plessis, NY; Cheryl (William) Harris of Ooltewah, TN; David (Deborah) Smith of Canton, NY; Carolyn (Eric) Ouderkirk of Oswego, IL; Maureen (Peter) Connor of Litchfield, NH; Paula (Christopher) Jank of Watertown, NY; Julie Smith (companion Bill Fobare) of Rensselaer Falls, NY; seventeen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She is also survived by a sister Dorothy Arquette of Massena, NY.
She is predeceased by her loving husband, Lawrence J. Smith on October 21, 1993, six siblings, Gaylord, Allen, Darrell and infant brother William Baxter and Doris Barrigar Brothers and Ruth Roach.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 12:00 PM at St. Marys Church in Canton with Rev. Scott Belina, Celebrating. Friends may call at the OLeary Funeral Home, 5821 US Hwy 11; Canton, from 4-7 PM. In lieu of flowers, contribution in her memory may be made to Hospice of Jefferson County, 1398 Gotham St; Watertown, NY 13601 or to Morley Volunteer Fire and First Responders, 7220 CR 27; Canton, New York 13617.
Condolences may be shared online at www.olearyfuneralservice.com.