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Elizabeth Skinner Smith

Elizabeth “Liz” Skinner Smith of Maplewood, a landscape designer and former longtime Montclair resident who was active in community affairs, died on March 9, 2023. She was 97.

Born in 1925 in St. Louis to Celeste MacMillan and Walter Rumsey Skinner, she attended Mary Institute in St. Louis, Pine Manor Junior College in Boston and Washington University in St. Louis. 

After college she married Wyot David Woods and moved to Montclair, where she raised three children. In 1973, she married John Heyward Smith.

An accomplished gardener, Mrs. Smith attended New York Botanical Garden classes on landscape design from 1975 to 1978 and started a successful business, Landscape Concepts, with two Montclair friends. She retired after 21 years in 1999.

She was also active in many volunteer activities late into life. She was on the boards of the Garden Club of Montclair and the Junior League of Montclair-Newark and was president of St. Luke’s Church Women. 

She headed the Buildings and Grounds Committee at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, which she served on for 25 years. She also headed the Resident Buildings and Grounds Committee and served on the Resident Executive Committee of Winchester Gardens in Maplewood, where she lived for the past 20 years. 

Mrs. Smith was a founding and longtime member of Futures Ltd., a group of women investors in Montclair. 

Her interests included competitive tennis and paddle tennis, having several club championships to her credit; bridge, needlepoint and reading. She adored her family and friends and had a warm, contagious laugh.

Mrs. Smith is survived by her son and daughter, David Woods of Stamford, Connecticut, and Susan Woods Day of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; two stepsons, Garrett Smith of New York City and Douglas Smith of Portland, Oregon; seven grandchildren, Wyot, Nicholas and Jack Woods of Greenwich, Connecticut, Andrew Day of Chapel Hill, Katharine Day of Washington, D.C., and John and Benjamin Karamanos of Portland, and four great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her husband of 40 years, John Smith; her first husband, Wyot Woods; her daughter, Cynthia Woods, and her stepdaughter, Patricia Karamanos. 

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 29, at St. Luke’s Church, 73 South  Fullerton Ave.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be given to the Winchester Gardens Scholarship Fund, 333 Elmwood Ave., Maplewood, NJ, 07040 or to the St. Luke’s Memorial Trust Fund, 73 South Fullerton Ave., Montclair, NJ, 07042.

Arrangements were by Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home, 76 Park St.