Hope Quinn Smith

February 22, 1928 ~ January 31, 2022 (age 93)


Hope Quinn Smith, 93, an Indian Head, MD, native and resident for most of her life died January 31, at home in Laconia, NH.

An award-winning teacher recognized by the state of Maryland, a distinguished physical therapist, water safety advocate and army veteran, Mrs. Smith also pursued wilderness travel, dog sledding, fly fishing, mountain hiking and cycling tours in retirement. Her fried chicken, shrimp curry, Mexican dishes and black walnut fudge were exceptionally good. She danced salsa and swing.

Mrs. Smith was born February 22, 1928, at Garfield Hospital, Washington, DC.  Her family lived in Indian Head, MD, until 1938 when they moved to Washington.  She graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1946 and went on to Bouvé-Boston School of Physical Education, Tufts College, Medford, MA.  Upon graduation, she taught physical education in junior and senior high school in Clarks Summit, PA.

In 1952, Mrs. Smith received a commission in the US Army Medical Specialists Corps in the physical therapy program.  Two years later, she left the service to marry Mr. Claris Ashley Smith, an officer in the US Air Force.  As an Air Force wife, she traveled to England where her first two children were born, and then to Kansas where two more were born, and then to Germany.

Returning to the US in 1964, the family established a permanent home in the Indian Head/Bryans Road area.  During this time, her husband completed his military career at the Pentagon and in Southeast Asia, and in 1965 Mrs. Smith returned to teaching at elementary schools in Charles County (Walter Mitchell, Mount Hope, Nanjemoy and Port Tobacco) and then at Indian Head Elementary (1968-1988). She earned a Master’s of Art in Education from The George Washington University in 1977.

In 1980, Mrs. Smith returned to physical therapy part-time.  On retiring from teaching, she provided full-time home and clinic therapy in the 1990s.

Awards, advocacy and adventure were themes that ran through Mrs. Smith’s life into her 90s.

The Maryland Department of Education recognized Mrs. Smith for having one of the 10 best physical education programs in the state at all grade levels.  She was named Coach of the Year in Field Hockey, coaching for Lackey High School.  Inova Home Health selected her as its most outstanding physical therapist in 1992.

In 1997, distressed by the number of children who drowned between 5th and 6th grades, Mrs. Smith started a program to teach the dangers of the waters surrounding Charles County and to encourage children to enroll in swimming lessons.  The program consisted of in-water and in-class instruction.  Mr. Rob Chamberlain, who assisted her with the Indian Head program, convinced school administrators and the community college of the need for a county-wide program.  It continues today.

As for adventure, the great outdoors was Mrs. Smith’s proving ground and playground.

At age 60, Mrs. Smith undertook to walk the Appalachian Trail (AT) from Georgia to Maine.  She completed 1,600 miles that year.  She returned to the trail the next year but was interrupted by family obligations each time for the next two years, finally finishing the last 500 miles of the 2,100 AT on Mount Katahdin in 1991.

She enjoyed wilderness travel with her husband and also with a group of women who she organized into the WETBIs -- the Women’s Expeditionary Trail Blazers International.  She had a strong attraction to all the great parks in the US but especially the Boundary Waters in the Superior National Forest in Minnesota.  Being an avid fisherman and wise to the ways of bears she explored the waterways for three or four weeks despite packing only one week of rations.  In addition to US trips, the WETBI group sailed the Caribbean, bicycled through Europe, horse backed in the Tetons and Canadian Rockies and dogsledded in Minnesota.  She was an avid flyfish angler and loved the rugged life at her mountaintop cabin in Franklin, WV.

Mrs. Smith was preceded in death by her parents, Mike and Luise Quinn, an infant sister, Matilda Jane, and a brother, Jack Quinn.  Her husband, Ashley, died November 14, 2016.  She is survived by Julianna Quinn, her sister, and four children: Jacqueline Lawhon, Thomas Q. Smith, Caroline Luise Smith and Eric T. Smith and his wife, Rita Jupe, and four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and another on the way.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Sunday, June 5, 2022 beginning at 12 noon until time of memorial service at 1 PM.

Burial will be private in Aiken County, SC.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Hope, please visit our floral store.


June 5, 2022

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Williams Funeral Home, P.A.
4270 Hawthorne Rd
Indian Head, MD 20640
Guaranteed delivery before the Visitation begins

Memorial Service
June 5, 2022

1:00 PM
Williams Funeral Home, P.A.
4270 Hawthorne Rd
Indian Head, MD 20640
Guaranteed delivery before the Memorial Service begins

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