Cheryl D. Smith
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Cheryl D. Smith (Wilson) of Conway, Massachusetts, died unexpectedly on February 22, 2021 at the age of 69, due to a heart attack precipitated by a recurrent cancer.
Cheryl was born in Ligonier PA as first among five children to Gerald and Eleanor Smith, longtime residents of Newville PA. She was predeceased by her father, brother James Smith, and sister Susan George. She is survived by her beloved husband John Wilson of Conway MA, her mother Eleanor Smith, sister Patricia George and husband Dale, brother William Smith and wife Judy, all of Carlisle PA. She is further survived by brother-in-law Thomas George and wife Cecelia of West Bolyston MA, sister-in-law Brenda Smith of Mt. Holly Springs PA, many nieces and nephews, their spouses, and their children.
Cheryl graduated from Uxbridge High School in Uxbridge MA and received her LPN at the David D. Fanning School. She worked as a nurse for nearly 2 decades at Hahnemann Hospital in Worcester MA, where she also assisted in design of their diabetes education program. Cheryl later earned her RN from Franklin County Community College and an FNP from UMass - Amherst. When still pursuing her RN and FNP degrees she developed and directed the original Diabetes Educational Support Group for Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, MA. Cheryl later developed, and for many years directed, the Nursing Center program for the Council on Aging in Amherst MA.
Despite being diagnosed with Type I Diabetes at age 5, Cheryl managed through diligent self-management to avoid nearly all medical complications that affect people with diabetes. In teaching practice she used her vast personal and professional knowledge of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes to inform and enrich the lives of patients she met and cared for throughout her career.
Beyond medical career: Cheryl and her loving husband John enjoyed traveling on vacations through eastern Canada and the U.S, attending folk music and '60s concerts, and watching comedy and mysteries on PBS. Cheryl was also an exceptional artist, avid photographer, and enthusiastic gardener. She especially loved visiting her parents and extended family back in Pennsylvania. Though they had no children together, she and John served as "mom and dad" to a lively and affectionate succession of Jersey Wooly and Lop rabbits. Cheryl's boundless affection for "our bunnies" was perfect reflection of her kind and generous heart. She will be forever missed by her sorrowing husband John, all their other family members, and many friends in New England, Pennsylvania, and beyond.
Private burial will take place at a later date at the Cumberland Valley Memorial Gardens in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Hoffman Funeral Home and Crematory at 2020 W. Trindle Road, Carlisle, PA 17013 (www.hoffmanfh.com/) and Drozdal Funeral Home at 120 Damon Road, Northampton MA 01060 (www.drozdalfuneralhome.com/ ) are assisting the family.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in Cheryl's name to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (www2.jdrf.org/), and/or the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (www.dana-farber.org/).
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