Museum logo
Museum logo

Person Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Name Smith, Mary Ann
Born 12-23-1944
Birthplace USA: Minnesota, Minneapolis
Places of residence USA: Nebraska (Lancaster), Lincoln (2006-2009)
Father Hertel, Oscar John
Mother Hertel, Martha Mobråten
Education St. John's Grade School, Burlington, Iowa
Notre Dame Catholic High School, Burlington, Iowa (grad 1962)
Burlington Community College
University of Iowa
Notes Mary Ann was born on December 23, 1944, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Oscar John Hertel of Burlington, Iowa and Martha Mobråten Hertel of Minneapolis. Her father was away serving in the Navy when she was born.

When she was four, her family moved to Burlington, Iowa. Oscar became Postmaster of the City of Burlington. Mary Ann attended St. John's Grade School and Notre Dame Catholic High School graduating in 1962. She attended what was then called, Burlington Community College (now Southeastern Iowa Community College) for two years. Mary Ann transferred to the University of Iowa where she majored in Occupational Therapy. After graduation she completed residencies in Minneapolis, Chicago and Birmingham, Alabama and then took a position in St. Paul, Minnesota.

As a child, Mary Ann was inspired by the work of Dr. Tom Dooley in Southeast Asia. She spent her summers working at Camp Sunshine, the Lions International summer camp for children with disabilities in Iowa. This began her lifelong work in helping people and led to her choice of a profession.

Mary Ann married U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael J. Smith on May 9, 1970 in Burlington, Iowa. She returned to her position at St. Paul, Minnesota, Ramsay County Hospital during 1970 and 1971 while her husband served overseas.

In the fall of 1971, the Smith's moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where she gave birth to her only child, Mary Jessica, on March 21, 1972.

Subsequent moves took the family to Michigan, Iowa, New York, Massachusetts and finally in early 2006, to Lincoln, Nebraska.

Mary Ann worked in a variety of professional positions ranging from staff occupational therapist, to a trainer of staff professionals who provide care for seniors and others occupying assisted living facilities, to home health provider. At the time of her death, she was a home health occupational therapist for Gentiva Health Services in Lincoln.

Mary Ann's interests were broad-ranging. As she once said, she was interested in everything…..except sports. While she considered her most important roles to be those of mother, spouse and care provider for others, she found the time and energy to make a legion of friends with whom she remained in touch via her famous hand-written letters and e-mails.

At age 29 Mary Ann was diagnosed with the rare blood disorder Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), which she battled steadfastly for 35 years. A writer, artist, voracious reader, Sunday School Teacher and life-long learner, she never let the anemia and the effects of treatments associated with the PHN overwhelm her zest for life and for people, and her determination to make a difference in the communities in which she lived.

Mary Ann passed away on July 23, 2009 as a result of the PNH. She was survived by her husband and daughter, her dog Jake, two brothers and two sisters, their families and her friends from Maine to California. She is buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Burlington, Iowa.
Occupation occupational therapy
Spouse Smith Michael J.
Children Smith, Mary Jessica
Deceased 07-23-2009
Deceased where USA: Nebraska (Lancaster), Lincoln

Associated Records

Image of 13084-59 - Hat, Knitted

13084-59 - Hat, Knitted

Striped hat knitted from green, yellow and red yarn. There is a pom pom on top and a tie that is plaited and woven through the lower edge of the hat.

Image of 13084-121-(1) - Jacket, Woman's Stretch Wool Suit Jacket

13084-121-(1) - Jacket, Woman's Stretch Wool Suit Jacket

Light gray women's suit jacket with three-quarters sleeves and flat pointed collar. Single button front closure.

Image of 13084-121-(2) - Skirt, Woman's Stretch Wool Suit Skirt

13084-121-(2) - Skirt, Woman's Stretch Wool Suit Skirt

Light gray calf-length pencil skirt with two small slit pockets at waistband. Zipper closure at center back.

Image of 13084-79-(1-2) - Needles, Knitting, Pair, Blue

13084-79-(1-2) - Needles, Knitting, Pair, Blue

Pair of bright blue metal knitting needles. They are pointed on one end and have a silver cap on the other. Markings on the cap indicate they are a size 5.

Image of 13084-88 - Notion, Knitting, Ring Markers

13084-88 - Notion, Knitting, Ring Markers

Set of 13 plastic rings in a small clear plastic box. The rings are red, blue and green. The purpose of these markers is to mark your place and help the knitter measure sections and count rows.

Image of 13084-20-(1-2) - Pumps, Black

13084-20-(1-2) - Pumps, Black

Black fabric pumps with leather sole. The toe is pointed and there is a 2 1/4" heel. The fabric has a damask-type look. An insert is adhered to the inside.

Image of 13084-30-(1-2) - Sandals, Tan, Etienne Aigner

13084-30-(1-2) - Sandals, Tan, Etienne Aigner

Tan sandals with one wide strap across the top of the foot. This strap is a woven fabric with a leather backing. There is a small, tan leather bow at the top of the strap. Small heel, less than 1" in height.

Image of 13084-31 - Sweater, Black Cardigan

13084-31 - Sweater, Black Cardigan

Black, long-sleeved cardigan sweater. There are four rows, almost resembling cable knitting, on either side of the front. The sweater is machine knit. There are five black plastic buttons down the front and two front pockets.

Image of 13084-32 - Shirt, Tank Top, Brown

13084-32 - Shirt, Tank Top, Brown

Brown, knit, sleeveless top with slight V-neck. There is a dart on either side of the bustline.

Image of 13084-113-(1-2) - Dress, Mini, White, Red and Blue

13084-113-(1-2) - Dress, Mini, White, Red and Blue

Sleeveless polyester doubleknit mini dress with matching belt. The dress is a size six. The skirt is white with red, white, and blue stripes around the hem. There is one pleat at the center of the skirt. The bodice has red, white and blue stripes that are oriented on a diagonal that meets at the center of the bodice. This pattern forms overall "V" patterns. There is a zipper down the back of the bodice and part way down the skirt. There are two hooks at the top back of the collar.The front of the belt is covered in the same polyester striped fabric. The back is covered in plain white cotton fabric.

Image of 13084-114-(2) - Belt, Blue

13084-114-(2) - Belt, Blue

Belt for dress 13084-114-(1). Navy blue vinyl with metal buckle. Holes for buckle are reinforced with metal.

Image of 13084-118 - Dress, Black and Tan with Elastic Waist and Shoulder Pads

13084-118 - Dress, Black and Tan with Elastic Waist and Shoulder Pads

Knee length dress patterned with black, taupe, and small houndstooth alternating width stripes. Stripes run horizontally on the top half; vertically on the skirt and around the collar. Dress has a pointed collar, sideseam pockets, and shoulder pads. Long sleeves with single button cuffs. There are thread loops for a belt and a zipper closure at center back.

Image of 13084-119 - Skirt, Black with Floral Print

13084-119 - Skirt, Black with Floral Print

Rayon and wool calf length skirt. Black with magenta and blue flowers. Left side hook closure.

Image of 13084-120 - Skirt, Silk, Red and Black Plaid

13084-120 - Skirt, Silk, Red and Black Plaid

Red and black plaid, pleated, calf-length lined skirt. Zipper closure at left side with hooks.

Image of 13084-122 - Dress, Wedding

13084-122 - Dress, Wedding

Heavy silk wedding dress with princess seams. The center front panel is layered with lace; flowers with pearl bead appliques flow over lace. Mock turtleneck collar with single flower and pearl bead applique at center front. Zipper back with hooks to close. Large bow at waist back with single applique. Bow tail substituting for train detailed with lace and flower pearl bead appliques. Narrow fitted long sleeves wtih lace cuffs. Floor length, not lined.

Image of 13084-33 - Skirt, Brown and Black Stripe

13084-33 - Skirt, Brown and Black Stripe

Knit skirt with brown, black, tan, and white vertical stripes. It has a tan knit lining and an elastic waistband. The skirt gradually flares from the waistband to the hem.

Image of 13084-39 - Belt, Black

13084-39 - Belt, Black

Black leather belt. The reverse side is brown. The main part of the buckle is metal, covered with leather. The prong or tongue is a bare silver-tone metal.

Image of 13084-18 - Jacket, Beaded, Black

13084-18 - Jacket, Beaded, Black

Black beaded jacket. Black beads and sequins form an overall paisley pattern. Rows of small faceted beads border all the edges, including the collar and cuffs. There are shoulder pads and the jacket is lined with a black polyester fabric. Lace ribbons are attached to the lining to aid hanging the jacket. The shell is 100% silk

Image of 13084-19 - Skirt, Black, Broomstick

13084-19 - Skirt, Black, Broomstick

Solid black broomstick skirt. The outer layer of fabric is fairly sheer and has crumpled pleats. The lining is a solid, black, fabric. The skirt has an elastic waistband.

Image of 13084-21 - Sweater, White, Hooded

13084-21 - Sweater, White, Hooded

White sweater made of an open knit cotton. It is long sleeved and has a zipper down the front. The cuffs and waistband have a ribbed knit.