112 Bayview Blvd.
Oldsmar, Florida 34677
(Serving All of Florida)
Mary Kathryn (Kay) Smith, 73, a long-time resident of Palm Harbor, FL, passed away Thursday, July 26, 2018, at Suncoast Hospice Woodside, Pinellas Park, FL. She was born in Meadville, PA, on May 24, 1945, the daughter of the late Roger E. Smith and Barbara V. Smith. Mary Kay was a graduate of Meadville High School, attended Baldwin Wallace College in Berea, OH, and graduated Cum Laude from Edinboro State University, Edinboro, PA in 1971, with a B.S. Degree in Music Education. In 1982, she completed her Master’s of Library Science Degree from Clarion University, Clarion, PA.
From 1982-1986, Mary Kay served as Coordinator of Children’s Services at the Leesburg Public Library, Leesburg, FL. From 1986-1988, she was the Children’s Librarian at the Danville Public Library, Danville, VA. From 1988-1998, Mary Kay was the Children’s Librarian at the Oldsmar Public Library, Oldsmar, FL. During this time, she formed a drama group named OPAL, (Oldsmar Performing Actor’s League), which over a nine-year period evolved into four groups providing drama from preschool to adult plays. The adult group is known as the West Coast Players. Mary Kay produced and directed several broadway plays performed by (POSH) The Players of Safety Harbor. Among them was Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple”, Frederick Knott’s “Wait Until Dark”, Aaron Sorkin’s “A Few Good Men” and Craig Lucas’s “Prelude To A Kiss”.
In 1998, Mary Kay formed a LLC Corporation known as Universal Voices, Inc. under which she created and produced a children’s video called “One Of A Kind”. Using her skills as a Professional Storyteller/Ventriloquist she created and used a variety of puppet characters to talk and sing original songs she had written. She also authored and published a guide for living called “The ABC’s Of Happiness”.
From 2003-2012, Mary Kay was the Children’s Librarian at the Safety Harbor Public Library, Safety Harbor, FL, where she developed and managed Children’s Programs to encourage reading and communication among youngsters. She accomplished this through her ventriloquist skills and storytelling actions.
Mary Kay loved thoroughbred horses and once owned a racehorse. She also played drums for a country-western band called Earth Angels.
Mary Kay has received many special awards and certificates of appreciation for her many years of working with children and drama groups in motivating them to be the best they can be and to always act in a responsible and kind manner. Of these, her most precious, was receiving in 1997, The Homer Brunson-Ward Schrecengost Award from then Oldsmar City Manager Bruce Haddock which was given in recognition of her work by her fellow Oldsmar City Employees. In 2000 she received a plaque from the West Coast Players in honor of her continued dedication and support of the theatre.
Mary Kay is survived by her brother William C. Smith (his wife Frances B.) of Meadville, PA.; nephew Eric B. Smith (Rebecca Bernhardt) and their daughter Stella Frances Benedict Smith, of Tampa, FL.; and niece Allison L. Smith, of London, England.
A graveside service at Greendale Cemetery, Meadville, PA. will be announced at a later date.
Memorial contributions can be made in memory of Mary Kathryn Smith to Suncoast Hospice, 5771 Roosevelt Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33760.