Obituary of Constance Marjorie Smith
HOPE SMITH DATE OF BIRTH: May 14, 1923, Southborough, England DATE OF DEATH: February 18, 2022, Santa Barbara, California Hope Smith, 98, of Santa Barbara passed away on February 18, 2022, at Casa St. James in Santa Barbara. Hope was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2012 and eventually went to live in Oak Cottage Memory Care of Santa Barbara. After several years she was in need of more individual care and was moved to a lovely home also in Santa Barbara, Casa St. James, and received remarkable care for another several years. Over the last few months she began experiencing a slow decline. Her last week was spent with her daughter, Lynn Peters, by her bedside.
Hope was born Constance Marjorie Hope Fuller in Southborough, England, second oldest of four children of Dr. Ashbury Fuller and Doris Mary Fitch. Dr. Fuller was house surgeon at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London before starting his own practice in Southborough. Doris was governess to children of a family nearby. Hope recalls growing up with annual seaside holidays, and her father running his “surgery” (consulting room, dispensary and waiting room) out of their three story Victorian house. She went to a private girls school in the south of London until 14, and then a girls’ convent boarding school for two years of high school with her older sister Anne in the town of Burnham-on-sea, Somerset.
While staying with her grandparents at Chaddesley Corbett for the summer holidays in 1933, Hope contracted acute osteomyelitis of the left femur, a bone infection, and was operated on in St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, by a colleague of her father’s. Recovery was good, but this condition would affect her later in life. She missed a whole year of school but this did not stop her from excelling in her studies and passing her school certificates one year earlier than normal, at 17.
Hope remembers traveling abroad to France in her youth, staying with a French family for six weeks, but was called home August 25th, 1939, because war with Germany was declared on September 3, 1939.
She continued her high school studies in Croydon, south of London, where the family had moved. Though she earned matriculation credits from 7 courses allowing her entrance into Oxford University, her heart was not into preparing for university. Instead she wanted to be a secretary, so she then began courses at Secretarial College in Croydon. From 1941 to 1942 she worked as shorthand, typist and bookkeeper at an accounting firm in London, and attended evening classes in language. In 1943 she qualified for the Women’s technical service register, and became a draughtswoman at the wartime “radar research station” in Malvern, Worcestershire, part of the Ministry of Aircraft Production. She made detailed assembly drawings for prototype radar equipment. She also studied Russian for a year.
Her entire family was involved in the war effort. Her father performed the ear, nose and throat exams of men called up for the army. Her stepmother did volunteer work at the local hospital. Her sister Anne joined the ATS, the women’s army. Her brother Pip was sent to the Military Academy in India. Her brother John served as a private in the British Army in Germany.
In 1945 her father died at the age of 72 still working as a family doctor. In 1946 and peacetime, Hope returned to secretarial life in London, trained at the London School of Steno-typing and reached 160 wpm. She continued evening courses of French, German and economics and was employed by the school as a verbatim reporter/demonstrator. She also enjoyed more travel to Paris and Denmark, cycling through Denmark and staying at youth hostels.
In 1947 she met her first husband Jack Sanderson, a lecturer at a technical college near Manchester, became engaged, and married later that year. They moved to Birmingham in 1948 where Jack taught at a technical college and Hope was secretary and lab assistant to a metallurgist at AJ Phillips Co. (Phillips-head screws). They vacationed in Switzerland and Italy where she adventurously tried alpine rock climbing.
They moved to London in 1949. Jack was involved in what she called an “esoteric institute”. Hope was employed by Krishnamurti Writings as a reporter/stenographer. She ran the London branch office until 1956. After 4 years of marriage, Hope and Jack separated, later agreeably divorcing in mid 1956 because Hope did not share Jack’s esoteric or spiritual beliefs.
In 1953 in addition to her office work, Hope studied Math, Physics and Chemistry at evening classes in London at the Regent Street Polytechnic. She wanted to become a science-fiction writer, and thought a degree in science would be a good background for ideas. She also studied dance movement.
Her work of reporting and stenography for Krishnamurti Writings took her to Belgium, Germany, Italy, Amsterdam and other parts of Europe. In December 1956 she was asked to transfer from the London office to their head office in Ojai, California, to edit manuscripts and be responsible for mail order book sales in the USA.
She agreed and in December 19, 1956, flew to Los Angeles, and onto Ojai, California. Later that month she was introduced to international folk dancing at the Ojai Art Center. After attending weekly folk dance classes, it is here she meets her future husband Sydney Smith, also an enthusiastic folk dancer. He was working in Ventura in the social welfare department.
Hope also enjoyed hikes with the local Sierra Club. In 1957 she was granted permanentresident status as an immigrant. Hope continued her love of studies at Ventura City College. In 1958 Sydney enrolled for the fall semester at UCLA for his graduate studies in Social Work. Hope also applied for enrollment to UCLA and was accepted as a math major.
Sydney and Hope married February 7, 1959, at the Santa Barbara courthouse with Sydney’s family in attendance. The very next day they drove down to their new apartment near the UCLA campus. Sydney then completed his first year of his masters studies and after receiving a scholarship was required to work it off doing local area social work. And Hope entered UCLA as a math major.
During this first year at UCLA, Hope struggled with her math courses and decided on changing her major. Sydney was interviewing and obtained a position as a child welfare worker in the Social Welfare Dept. of Santa Clara County, San Jose. So Hope in turn applied as a Social Service major at San Jose State College and was accepted. September 1959 they moved to Los Gatos for their new job and schooling.
In June of 1960 Hope had her first child, a daughter, and gave her up for adoption. Her adoptive parents named her Lynn Michele Hausrath.
Sydney took Hope on a long trip for her recuperation, to British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and back to California, resuming her classes at SJSC. She did well and earned numerous honorary scholastic awards including a Phi Beta Kappa Key.
In August of 1961 Hope had her second child, a son, and also gave him up for adoption. His adoptive parents named him Scott William Hausrath.
In 1961 Hope became active in the San Jose Peace Center and partook in many peaceful protests of the war effort. She was still a straight A student at San Jose State College. In 1962 Hope worked as typist-clerk in the SJSC library in the catalogue department and soon graduated with a BA in Social Services, and a minor in Psychology.
Hope and Sydney made the decision to further their studies and applied to Syracuse University in New York, Hope studying Library Science and Sydney beginning his second year of Masters study in Social Work. Hope was again a straight A student, and both received their degrees at the end of 1963 and moved back to Ventura, California. Sydney obtained employment at Camarillo State Hospital. Hope returned to England and spent several months visiting her ailing younger brother Christopher who was dying from Leukemia.
Then returning to California, Hope gained employment as a librarian in the catalogue department of the UCSB library. Later they moved closer to the Santa Barbara campus, and in a couple years they purchased a house in the town of Isla Vista, also near the UCSB campus.
Over the years more travel was done, criss-crossing the Sierra Nevada, and also traveling with Hope’s English relatives to Yosemite and the Grand Canyon.
Hope also began taking classes in braille transcription and purchased her own braille writer machine. In addition, she also took UCLA extension courses in computer programming and data processing. In 1968 she was promoted to the Head of the Order Department of the UCSB library, supervising three other librarians, twenty library assistants, a clerk and student assistant. She performed this position for the next two and a half years.
In 1970 Hope looked afar and began applying for a volunteer library job with IVS (International Voluntary Service) in Africa. She was accepted to the the librarian position in southern Africa, in Swaziland’s only College of Technology, starting Jan. 1971. She did much study in England to learn which new books would be appropriate for this library, and by the end of her tenure there, 5 years later, she had amassed 10,000 books for the Swaziland College of Technology, and built up the African Writers Series, plus installed the BBC’s News of the African World for the student community.
During her time in Swaziland she met and made wonderful work colleagues, met the Prime Minister of Swaziland, traveled to the Republic of South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Botswana, became a “rock hound”, and continued her volunteer braille work at the country’s only school for the blind, as she brought her braille machine with her.
In December 1975 Sydney flew out to help her pack up from her 5 year volunteer assignment, which had originally been a two year assignment. They set sail on the SS Vaal back to England to visit Hope’s relatives. Then a flight back to California. Upon returning and waiting for work, Hope took classes in ice skating at the local rink in Santa Barbara. Her “bad knee” from her osteomyelitis surgery in her youth kept her from fully managing her edges properly. She always enjoyed watching ice dancing after that.
In 1976 she joined the Santa Barbara Mineral and Gem Society and continued her rock hound interests. She gained work as a library assistant and eventually became librarian at ABC-Clio, a publisher of historical abstracts and American history and life.
Her traveling interests continued with a trip to the Soviet Union, visiting Moscow, Leningrad, and enjoying the Bolshoi Ballet, and visiting Russia. She also traveled to China, visiting many cities and sights.
In 1978 her sub-clinical or asymptomatic osteomyelitis from her childhood became chronic osteomyelitis and would require more attention as the years went by and give her a slight limp.
She began more volunteer work which included helping at Santa Barbara’s Braille Institute, studying the international second language Esperanto, and transcription for the visually handicapped. She also received many awards for various news bulletins she created during her work and hobby pursuits. She continued in adult education with language courses, lapidary courses, traveled to Esperanto conferences worldwide, performed more volunteer work with the local War Resisters League, and was a volunteer monitor for Recording for the Blind.
At age sixty in 1983, she became an avid traveler with Elderhostel and joined 15 Elderhostel trips to various locations around the world such as Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and many US locations. In 1987 she began Scottish Country Dancing and joined the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. She was also an enthusiastic square dancer.
In 1988, at 65 y/old, she retired from ABC-Clio. She continued her travels and volunteer work. A year or two later she started country line dancing and began teaching it soon after at the local Goleta Valley Community Center, and occasionally at various assisted living residences such as Maravilla in Santa Barbara.
In 1993 her biological daughter, Lynn, whom she had given up at birth, contacted her. Sydney, Hope, Lynn and Scott, whom they had also given up, had an amazing reunion and continued in relationship for many years.
In 1994 she began applying for US citizenship, having decided to stay permanently in the US now that she knew her two children were here. 1994 she took two trips with her daughter, one to Hawaii, and another one, a cruise to the British Virgin Islands. By late December she became a U.S. citizen with her husband Sydney and her son Scott present.
1996 she and Sydney took their daughter to England to meet the children of Hope’s three siblings who still resided in various parts of England. They toured a good portion of England and saw many of the sights from Hope’s youth and war time work.
The subsequent years were filled with more trips, more volunteer work and some relaxing as she grew older. In 2010-11 Hope began noticing her memory was declining. MRI testing in 2012 revealed the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease. She remained at home for as long as possible but soon needed additional care. She was moved to Oak Cottage Memory Care of Santa Barbara and resided there for several years. She was moved again for more individual care to Casa St. James, also in Santa Barbara and a much smaller community, more like home. Lynn, living in Berkeley, visited Hope monthly during her years of dementia. And she was able to be with her for the last week of her life, at which point Hope passed into the hands of God on Friday, February 18, 2022, at 98 years old, peacefully and comfortably.
Hope leaves behind her daughter and son-in-law, Lynn and Edward Peters of Berkeley, CA; her son Scott Hausrath of Algona, Washington; and her niece Rosemary Wilcox, nephews Selwyn and Martin Lloyd, all of England.
We have tremendous gratitude for all those who helped Hope in her last years including Oak Cottage Memory Care, Brightstar of Santa Barbara, Casa St. James, Central Coast Hospice and so many more individuals. May God bless you all abundantly for helping Mom in so many ways.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Constance Smith, please visit Tribute Store