Obituary of Irma Smollin
Irma Ann Smollin
Watervliet-Irma A. Smollin was called home to God on Friday, May 4, 2018 to join in that long-awaited reunion with her red-head, Sister Anne Bryan Smollin. She was 98 years young.
To say that Irma was a remarkable woman is an understatement. Her life was defined by generosity, graciousness, kindness and unwavering faith.
Born in Green Island on January 17, 1920 to Sophia and Andrew Dolezel. She was educated in Watervliet schools, graduating from Watervliet High School in 1937. She received her license as a beautician from Sulmore Beauty School in Troy on November 2, 1939. Irma married Bryan J. Smollin two years later on May 31, 1941. They were blessed with two daughters: Sister Anne Bryan and Mary Kay.
Irma was involved in the many facets of daily life: she was the Blue Bird Leader for her daughters; she was a member and past president of the Rosary Society of St. Brigid's Church; she was a devoted member of the VFW and was a past president of the Auxiliary 729; she loved being involved in activities and trips with the Watervliet Senior Citizens, to name a few.
Irma entertained all of her clients who came to her home for their weekly coif. Before it was "trendy" to serve refreshments, she served up coffee and treats from the infamous Schuyler Bakery. She extended that hospitality for many years at St. Joseph's Provincial House where, for 15 years, she offered services and supplies—a wash, cut and set— free of charge to the infirmed sisters. Her popularity became competitive as sisters vied for the first spot in line beginning at 4:00 AM every Wednesday.
A caring person to her core, Irma attended to the daily needs of her father until his death at age 93. For years, she lovingly packaged and delivered meals to neighbors in need and served as chauffeur to friends who did not drive. When Irma retired as a beautician, she continued her generous service to the Sisters of St. Joseph as a "friendly visitor," making weekly visits to St. Joseph's Provincial House to chat with the infirmed sisters.
Of her many loves, nothing surpasses her passion for baseball. An avid Yankee fan, Irma looks forward to spring training each year when baseball finally returns. She was always thrilled to be present for games in Yankee Stadium, Mets Stadium and Red Sox Stadium. She has also attended many local games at Heritage Park and Joe Bruno Stadium.
Irma delighted in visiting new places. Among her treasured travels were trips: to all of the Hawaiian Islands (from 1978-1994), to Ireland and Switzerland, and to the Holy Land with stops in Rome and Assisi, accompanied by her daughter, Sister Anne Bryan, in 1984. One of Irma's items on her "bucket list" was to ride a trolley car. So, in 1990, she traveled to San Francisco with Sister Anne for the sole purpose of riding that car! Each fall, she eagerly anticipated her yearly trip to Cape Cod where she enjoyed lobster rolls, New England clam chowder, and Chatham Cod.
Irma was predeceased by her husband, Bryan, her daughter, Sister Anne Bryan, her sister, Sonia, and her brothers, George and Irwin. She will be dearly missed by her daughter, Mary Kay, and her "third kid," Sister Patricia St. John, as well as her nieces, Jean Gralnik and Nancy Wohlert, and several grandnieces and grandnephews.
Mary Kay would like to thank the staff, aides, and nurses at Teresian House for their tender care and attentiveness to Irma during her 3-and-a-half year residency there. Special gratitude is extended to Debbie, Andrea, Ruth, Morgan, Virginia, Gladys, Mary Grace, Mama, Alecea, Ruthie, Paula, Melissa, Charlie, Jen, Tia, Allayah, Janniyah, Amanda, Bibi, Virgee, Mariel.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Joseph's Provincial House, Latham, NY on Monday, May 7 at 11:00 A.M. Friends may visit with the family from 2:00-5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 6 at the Dufresne and Cavanaugh Funeral Home. Burial will immediately follow the Funeral Liturgy at Immaculate Conception Cemetery.
Irma Smollin was an amazing woman to and for us. Our lives are richer for having known her. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Sisters of St Joseph, Development Office, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Rd., Latham, NY 12110.
For directions, information, to light a memory candle or order flowers for the family please visit www.dufresneandcavanaugh.com.
It is important for us to let you know that when selecting our funeral home your needs will be served by either Kevin Cavanaugh or John Martin. That allows us to provide you and your family with the personal touch that is needed at a very difficult time.
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