Marie Etta Smith: December 20, 1923 – September 28, 2018

Marie Etta Smith. Courtesy photo

Marie Etta Smith passed away peacefully in a nursing home located at Dana Point, California. She left her home in Avalon, in May of this year due to complications from congestive heart failure. She had been in hospice care since her mainland arrival. Her five children were by her side during her final days.

Marie was the daughter of Italian/Croatian emigrants. Her father settled on Catalina Island in 1915 as a fisherman as did many emigrants to Catalina at that time. Her mother and brother did not join her father in this country until 1922.

Marie was multilingual. Her second language was Spanish. She learned English as a Avalon elementary school first grader. After graduating from Avalon High School, Marie worked as a telephone operator on Whitley Street. Following WWII, she married her one true love, Hugh (Bud) Smith in December of 1946. Marie and Bud left the Island in the early 1950s to pursue Bud’s airline career.

They spent the next 20 plus years raising five kids and returning to Catalina every chance they could. Finally in 1975, they returned to Catalina to live out their days on the island of romance. Marie was born December 20, 1923 to Biaggio and Maria (Giuricich) Vidulich. She was married to Bud on December 14, 1946. They were married for nearly sixty-five years. She was preceded in death by her brother Giovanni in 1930, her parents Maria and Biaggio in 1973 and her late husband Bud in 2012. Marie leaves behind her son Thomas and his wife Karen. Her daughters Sheili, Denise and Charmaine and their respective spouses, Daniel, Robert and Bradley and her youngest son Michael and his wife Kathleen. Marie had 11 grandkids and four granddaughters.

Marie was memorialized October 5, 2018 at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church by Bishop Sylvester Ryan, a lifelong friend of the family and the altar boy at Marie and Bud’s wedding.

She was remembered as a quiet, unassuming person who was loved by all. She was the most loving mother a person could ever hope for. We are going to miss you mom. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made by mail to St. Catherine of Alexandria Church building fund, PO Box 735, Avalon, CA 90704. Please include the name Marie Smith on the memo line of the check.