YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Bernadine Kay Smith, age 62, passed away on Friday, January 1, 2021 at Liberty Health Care Center in Youngstown, Ohio.
She was born in Warren, Ohio on August 7, 1958 to Harry and Margaret (Balciar) Smith.
She is survived by her sisters, Margaret “Peggy” Snelbaker and Phyllis Smith (Cal Frye) and her brothers, Michael Smith (Drena) and Ron Smith.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Bobbie Weita.
She was the youngest of the six Smith kids of Bolindale and from an early age was known for her big blue eyes and dimpled smile.
She graduated from Howland High School in 1976 after filling those busy years with band, chorus, and the speech team.
Bernadine worked her way through Youngstown State University and performed in many concerts during her time at the university, at St. John’s Cathedral and at countless other churches and civic events. While with the St. John’s choir, they sang at the Vatican where she was photographed touching hands with the Pope. Through the years she sang at many weddings and funerals, as well as a guest performer at many area churches.
After graduating with a BA in Music Performance in 1984, she began working as a sheet music specialist at Warren Music Centre. In 1990, she accepted a job at Onandaga Music and moved to Syracuse, New York. She was quickly hired as the lead alto at Park Central Presbyterian Church, a position she held for almost 30 years. She was a soloist and choir member at the Temple Society of Concord, a Jewish temple in Syracuse. For many years she also performed with the Syracuse Opera Company.
She always loved the children in her life and for several years tutored immigrant children in her neighborhood, helping them with reading and math and, of course, music.
Diagnosed with cancer more than six years ago, she continued singing as long as she could. In 2019, she moved back to Ohio and resided with her sister Peggy.
She leaves her brothers and sisters, 11 nephews and nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces, numerous cousins and countless friends.
In addition to her family, thoughts and prayers are with her lifelong friends, Cindi Davis and Todd Cutshaw, as well as her best friend and travel companion in Syracuse, Mark Farrington.
Bernardine was known for her endless willingness to help others and will be missed by so many.
The family hopes to have a memorial service later in the year.
Arrangements by Cremation & Funeral Service by Gary S. Silvat, Inc. Share memories or send condolences by visiting www.cremateohio.com.
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