Cover photo for Kathleen Smith's Obituary
Kathleen Smith Profile Photo

Kathleen Smith

November 19, 1939 — April 15, 2023


Kathleen Smith

Kathleen Ann (Fessenden) Smith (83), of Charlevoix, passed away on April 15th, 2023 at home with her husband, Vane, and her daughter, Becky, at her side, following a courageous battle of cancer with the kind support of hospice. Kathleen was born on November 19th, 1939 to the late William and Eileen (O'Brien) Fessenden, of Charlevoix. She was a member of St. Mary Church her entire life and received all of her sacraments at this church. She graduated from Charlevoix High School in 1957. Following High School she attended and graduated from The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota in 1961 with a BSRN degree. She married Vane H. Smith on December 30th, 1961.

 Prior to returning to Charlevoix in 1966, they lived in Belding and Potterville, Michigan. They made their home in Charlevoix and raised their family. Kathleen worked as a Public Health nurse for District Health Department #3. While living in Charlevoix, Kathleen was passionate in supporting her community. She was a board member of the Charlevoix House, active in the Historical Society, participated in Sports Boosters, volunteered at The Rainbow Shop, was a Girl Scout leader, member of The Rod and Gun Club, and volunteered as a nurse for the local Special Olympics. Kathleen was also a strong supporter of St. Mary School, as well as made baptismal bibs for St. Mary church for over 50 years.

Following her retirement, she and her husband wintered in Gulf Shores, Alabama, then wintered for 26 years at Fun-N-Sun Resort in San Benito, Texas. While at Fun-N-Sun resort, Kathleen was the chairman for the Honey Bees Quilting Club for several years. She was an avid quilter. The Honey Bees made quilts for all military veterans in their park. She taught quilting and tatting classes as well.

Kathleen deeply loved her family. She was very active in the community; however, her family was her top priority. She made quilts for them on many occasions including graduations, weddings, and the birth of new grandchildren. Kathleen loved sports and she enjoyed watching her grandchildren as they played. She enjoyed family gatherings for any and all occasions. She also loved to go camping with family and travel in the RV with Vane. She was an amazing wife, mother and grandmother and she will be greatly missed by so many.

Kathleen is survived by her husband, Vane H. Smith, her children, Patricia (John) Rash, George (Linda) Smith, Rebecca (Doug) Frye, and Roger (Caroline) Smith. Grandchildren, Rebecca (William) McMasters, Kathleen (Dakota) Cruse, Jordan (Chelsea) Smith, Nathan (Kaitlin) Smith, Jarret Frye, Eric Smith, Anna Kate Smith. Great Grandchildren, Emily and William McMasters, Elainna, Ludell, and Raylee-Ann Smith, and Liam Smith. Her brother Thomas (Toni) Fessenden of California, and many nieces and nephews.

Closing services will be held at St. Mary Church in Charlevoix on Saturday, May 13th. Mass will begin at 11:00 am and a reception will follow in the St. Mary Hall. Burial will be at 2:00 pm that afternoon at St. Mary Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Mary School or Charlevoix Rod and Gun Club.

Arrangements are in the care of the Charlevoix Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes.  Please sign her online guestbook at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kathleen Smith, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Mass

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Mary Catholic Church (Charlevoix)

1003 Bridge St, Charlevoix, MI 49720

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