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Charlotte Smith 06/17/2023

Charlotte Hunt Smith died on Saturday, June 17, 2023, at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN due to complications following a stroke. The family would like to thank the caring and competent staff at Regions who kept her as comfortable as possible in her final days.

Charlotte Ruth Hunt was born on July 5, 1925, to Elliott and Josephine Hunt. The family, including her older brother Richard, lived in Washington DC where Elliott was a dentist. At almost 100 years old, she described her life as “extraordinary”. As a young girl, Charlotte loved horses and told many stories of riding around the grounds of special places near her home such as the Washington Monument and the White House. The Chesapeake Bay was a family favorite for fishing, boating and cabin life.

Charlotte graduated from Roosevelt High School (Washington DC) in 1944. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Wilson Teachers College (Washington DC) in Mathematics and Geography. She received a teaching fellowship at UW-Madison in 1947 and obtained a Master’s degree in Geography (with an emphasis on Economics and Industry). In 1948 before graduation, she was recruited by representatives from President Truman’s newly formed Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) as a researcher in Washington DC. She worked there for four years analyzing Cold War activities of Russia and Poland. She learned to read and speak Russian at Georgetown University Institute of Languages and Linguistics. With her skills in cartography, she prepared special maps of the regions based on interviews with foreign nationals in the U.S.

In 1952, she left government service in order to make a firsthand study of activities of underground groups in Germany. While this work brought Charlotte a great sense of personal satisfaction and provided needed information to U.S. government agencies, the time came when she decided it was time to enter the business world and start her career. In 1954, she joined General Foods Corporation in White Plains, NY as a researcher in Public Relations. She held a position as a Systems Analyst for the Controller’s Office and eventually a Motivation Process Consultant in the Corporate Personnel Services Department during her 10 years there.

While at General Foods, she made several trips to the local hardware store as she maintained the Hunt family boat. It was there she met Ivan (Bud) Smith, who was a widower and also the store manager. They were married in June of 1964. Charlotte and Bud, along with his teenage son Steve whom she adopted, moved to Stamford, Connecticut. They were very involved in the First Congregational Church, community activities, and the Halloween Yacht Club. Charlotte was a regular crew member on a racing sailboat on Long Island Sound until she was well into her 80’s. Their yard and flower gardens were very special to them and to friends and neighbors who enjoyed get-togethers in the back yard. Music was an essential part of Charlotte’s life. She could play the mandolin, accordion and organ. Her constant companion was her camera and she leaves a legacy of thousands of photos chronicling her love of family, friends, flowers, nature and travel.

During their retirement, Bud and Charlotte spent many winters on the beach in Casey Key, Florida. After 41 years, their time together came to an end with Bud’s passing in September of 2005.

Charlotte moved from Stamford to Sarasota, Florida in July of 2019. She moved to Woodland Hill Assisted Living in Hudson, Wisconsin to be closer to her family in March of 2022. Her family would like to thank the staff at Woodland Hill for their love and compassionate care during her time there.

Charlotte was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brother, great-granddaughter Alaina Constance Easley, niece Bonnie Smith Vidal and nephew John T. (Jack) Smith. She is survived by her son Stephen (Constance) Smith and granddaughters Kristi (Kyle) Easley, Laura (Brian) Campbell, and Sharon (Bradley) Peterson. Time with “GG” going for walks, sorting shells and doing puzzles will be greatly missed by great-grandchildren Sophie and Ellie Campbell, William and Paige Peterson, and Lauren Easley.

Charlotte is further survived by nephews James (Pam) Hunt, Brent (Gertrude) Whittaker, Gary (Tracy) Hunt, Maurice Schwaninger, nieces Billie Ann Zeff and Bobbie (Mike) Schwaninger-Sullivan, great nieces Izabella Hunt, Raquel Vidal, Daniela Vidal, and great-nephew Diego Vidal.

A private burial in Washington DC will be held at a later date. Her ever present curiosity and brilliant mind will finally experience what is in store for her in “the next place”.

In lieu of memorials or flowers, please direct your charitable donations to your favorite organization in memory of Charlotte.  Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.

1 Comment

  • Sylvia Orgera Posted June 18, 2023 10:22 pm

    Dear Steve, Connie and family,

    It makes me sad to read this about Charlotte’s passing and I send my sympathy to all. Charlotte was a special person and being her neighbor for so many years was something I will never forget.
    Just yesterday I thought of her “out of the blue” and today I’m reading of her amazing life. She and Bud were special people and I know they’re happy to be together again.

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