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Denise Marie (Locy) Smith, 69, passed away on Friday October 27, 2023, in her home surrounded by loved ones. Throughout her life, Denise lived out her faith in Jesus as she lovingly cared for her family and countless others. Her life was a testimony to the love of Christ. Denise embodied Romans 12:10, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” She humbly and selflessly served others with love and patience even while battling cancer for the past five years.
Denise was born on September 5, 1954, in Ashtabula, Ohio, the daughter of Donald and Betty (Stevens) Locy. The oldest of five children, Denise nurtured and maintained strong relationships with her siblings. She loved them dearly. Denise was a lifelong, active and dedicated member of the Jefferson Church of the Nazarene. She graduated from Jefferson High School in 1972 and received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Mount Vernon Nazarene College.
On October 6, 1979, she married Michael A. Smith; together they were blessed with 44 years of love and happiness that centered around their 3 children and 6 grandchildren. Denise found her greatest joy in being a mother and grandmother. The memories they made together and traditions she started will be carried on and cherished forever.
A tremendous cook, Denise enjoyed creating delicious meals, trying new recipes, baking treats, and hosting dinners for family and friends. Her children's and grandchildrens’ awards ceremonies, halftime performances, parades, baseball games, matches, races, recitals and musicals were always a priority. Sunday dinners, birthday celebrations and the holidays were made extra special because of all of Denise’s careful and meaningful preparation. Not to mention the hundreds of dozens of Christmas cookies she was so renowned for making every year. She was an amazing wife, Mom, Grandma, “Giga”, daughter, sister, aunt and friend who lived her life caring for those she loved without hesitation.
Denise’s love for children was evident from her youth, to motherhood, to volunteering in the church nursery and youth group, to teaching Sunday school classes, to caring for her grandchildren. For 36 years, Denise cared for children and advocated for their safety and welfare as a caseworker and then the supervisor of the adoption and fostering division of Ashtabula County Children's Services. Following her retirement in 2012, she was asked to stay on as a member of the Board of Directors. Finding a child their “forever home” gave her the most fulfilling joy and happiness.
She is survived by her loving family: her mother Betty (Larry) Hough; her husband Michael Smith; her children: Justin (Sara) Smith, Nathan (Mallory) Smith and Lauren (Clinton) Beasley; her grandchildren, whom she absolutely adored: Anna and Elliot Smith; Beckett, Owen and Emmaline Smith and Gwendolyn Beasley; her siblings: Donald (Laurie) Locy, David (Allison) Locy, Steven (Jackie) Locy and Lori (Pete) Maraldo; as well as many dear nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her father, Donald Locy.
Funeral services will be held at the Jefferson Church of the Nazarene; calling hours will be Thursday, November 2, 2023, at the church from 4:00-7:00; and the funeral service will be held on Friday, November 3, 2023, at the church at 11:00 a.m. with burial to follow in Oakdale Cemetery. A memorial luncheon will follow at the church fellowship hall. Memorial contributions may be made in Denise's name to Ashtabula County Children’s Services or the Mya Women’s Center.