In the presence of her four children and husband, Miriam Esther Sess Smith died at her home in Solana Beach, California on 30 December 2021. She and family had recently celebrated her 98th birthday. Miriam had been a resident of San Diego County for 55 years.
Miriam was born on 22 December 1923 in Cincinnati, Ohio, oldest child of John Otto Sess (1900-1966) and Henrietta Katherine Albert (1903-1987). The family moved to Buffalo, New York about 1933; she graduated from Kenmore High School, and received a bachelor’s degree in biology from University of Buffalo. She married John L. Smith the day of his graduation from medical school in 1946. After a couple of years completing John’s military service in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, the couple moved to California where they raised four children in Long Beach, Laguna Niguel, and La Jolla. The couple settled in Solana Beach where they lived independently until her death.
Miriam and John enjoyed traveling, including trips to Europe, China, and Australia, and were early participants in the U.S.-based elder hostel movement. Miriam served many years as a volunteer “Yellow Lady” at Scripps Clinic, including being the group’s president. She was an avid reader, crossword puzzler, and needlepointer, and also enjoyed painting classes with John for many years during their retirement. Miriam and John celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary last June at a large family reunion.
Miriam is predeceased by her parents, and a sister Eleanor Dye; she is survived by: her husband, Dr. John L. Smith; her four children and their spouses, Sandra & Jack Lewin, Gale & Joe Kraps, Bradley & Mary Lou Smith, and Jillaine Smith & Philip Bogdonoff; seven grandchildren and ten (soon to be eleven) great-grandchildren; two nieces and two nephews, along with many in-law children and grandchildren past and present – all of whom loved her dearly.
Respecting Miriam’s wishes, no funeral services will be held, but the family welcomes memories.
Bonham Bros & Stewart Mortuary and Cremation Service assisted the family.
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