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IN MEMORIAM: ‘Nicky’ Smith, 91;

‘Mom’ To Many, She Sang Every Day

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Gladys E. “Nicky” Smith, 91, died Monday, March 18, 2019 at Cooperstown Center surrounded by her loving family.

Born May 14, 1927, in Bridgewater, she was raised and lived most of her life in the Bridgewater, Sauquoit, Clayville and Van Hornsville area. She married Leland Smith in December 1944.

Nicky was a homemaker, cook, mother, wife, friend and “mom” to many. The Smiths were dairy farmers and their home and farm were the perfect place to raise their eight children.

She was perfectly suited to life on the farm – she loved animals of all types, especially cats, and could be seen feeding the animals (including foxes, skunks, raccoons, etc.) daily. Nicky also loved to garden and would spend many hours tending to her flowers.

She was an avid reader (when she found the time), especially of “westerns”. She would sing every day while she worked and was an accomplished artist with a pencil. She referred to her many friends and “children” as “little angels”.

She enjoyed her family and friends and hosting get togethers; she insisted on preparing all the food. Her musical laugh and the pure joy she evinced made her fun to be around. Her love was ever present – many of her children’s friends and neighbor kids called her “mom” and it was not uncommon to find several extra mouths to feed around the dinner table. Her fried chicken was remarkable – its flavor can’t be duplicated. The family believes the secret was the love she put into preparing it.

When she lost her home and most of her possessions to a fire in 2004, she didn’t miss a beat. She didn’t dwell on the loss but rather cherished what she did have – her family and friends.

Nicky is survived by seven of her eight children, Leland R. Smith (Linda) of Virginia, Patricia Hectus (Joe) of Ilion, Mark Smith (Debbie) of Florida, Victor Smith of Cooperstown, Wendy Willsey (Bruce) of Cooperstown, Carol Hectus (Steve) of Jordanville, and Sandra Mary Swatling (Ron) of Hartwick. She is also survived by 27 grandchildren and many great and great great grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her daughter, Linda Ramos, in 2007 and by her beloved husband, Leland, in 2001 after 57 years of marriage.

Funeral services for Nicky will be at 6 p.m. Friday, March 22, at the Tillapaugh Funeral Home, 28 Pioneer St., Cooperstown. Father Dane Boston, rector of Christ Episcopal Church Cooperstown, will officiate.

The family will be in attendance from 4 pm until the time of the service to receive friends.

A gathering of friends will be held at the Cooperstown Vets Club, Main Street, Cooperstown, immediately following the service. Burial will be in the spring on the family plot in the Springfield Center Cemetery.


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