MARS HILL - Priscilla Jones Smith, 95, attained her Heavenly reward on March 11, 2016, at the Aroostook Health Center in Mars Hill. She was born January 20, 1921 in Bangor, the daughter of Heywood and Kathleen (Crowley) Jones.
She often spoke of her early life at her parents' home at 16 Somerset Street in Bangor and fondly recalled her visits to the Jones Seafood Company, a prominent family business located in Pickering Square in downtown Bangor for over 100 years. In addition to the business, her father was also a renowned music composer and greatly influenced Priscilla's life-long passion for music, which began at a very early age.
Priscilla graduated from Bangor High School in the Class of 1939, the University of Maine and the Northern Conservatory of Music. Soon after completing her formal education and training, she moved to Mars Hill to teach vocal and instrumental music in Mars Hill Schools. The young and beautiful "city girl" soon met, fell in love and married the love of her life, Carl, and enjoyed 63 wonderful years together. Priscilla served twenty-five years as an instrumental music teacher in Mars Hill, at Aroostook Central Institute and MSAD #42. She organized and conducted the first band in MSAD #42. Under her direction, students were provided an opportunity to participate in exchange concerts with students throughout the State. Many former students have reminisced about the wonderful experiences "Mrs. Smith" made possible for them. She composed the ACI School Song and with her father and wrote the current Central Aroostook High School "Loyalty" Song. Priscilla was also one of the Co-founders of the All Aroostook Music Festival. Although she was an accomplished musician in many areas, her primary interest was the accordion, which she played to audiences of all ages throughout her life. In the mid-1930's, Priscilla performed at a special Concert held to honor First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt's visit to Bangor.
Affectionately known to her many friends as "Pril," it would be an understatement to say that she made the most of every minute she lived. Her positive attitude and warm spirit affected everyone she came in contact with. From her early career as a music instructor and band director, numerous of her former students have maintained contact with her. However, possibly the most important and productive period of her life was yet to come. In recent years, during her 8-year residency at the Aroostook Health Center, Pril provided the same energy and warmth that has marked her entire life. Until the past few days, she played cribbage, bingo and many other activities that were inclusive for all the residents and various community members who occasionally joined in the fun. Her zeal and laughter were infectious. She not only made the most of her "life circumstances" but greatly enhanced the lives of both her fellow residents and the dozens of faithful and loyal employees who Pril loved as her own family. She played the accordion for her friends until the weight of the instrument became more than she could manage. Priscilla played the piano for pleasure, for many activities and for group services provided by area churches.
She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 63 years, Carl W. Smith, Sr. She is survived by her loving and devoted children Carl W. "Rick" Smith, Jr. and Patricia of Dedham, Holly and Gehrig Johnson of Presque Isle, Heidi and Roger Shaw of Mars Hill, Heather Russell of Georgia, and Harmony and Doug Millett of North Wayne; her grandchildren whom she truly adored, Tyler Smith, Mitchel Smith, Stacy Shaw, Stori Shaw, Nicole Irving, Lee Shaw, Taylor Adams, Brandon Russell and Adam Donovan. She also leaves several precious great-grandchildren; several special step grand and great-grandchildren; four dear sisters-in-law Norma Tweedie, Margaret Murdoch, Joyce Smith and Sandra Leighton; one dear brother-in-law Rev. Ivan "Buz" Smith, Jr. and Beverly; several cherished nieces and nephews; and numerous close and special extended family and friends. A precious grandson, Bryant Donovan, a loving brother, Robert H. Jones and his wife, Patricia, predeceased Priscilla.
Our family is truly blessed and very thankful for the exceptional care Mom received while living at the Aroostook Health Center in Mars Hill. We will be forever grateful to the compassionate and professional staff that lovingly cared for her.
In many ways, Priscilla Jones Smith enjoyed a beautiful and incredible 95-year party which family and friends were privileged to attend. Her joy, warmth, wit and love will never dim in our wonderful memories of her.
Those who wish to remember Priscilla in a special way may contribute to the Aroostook Health Center/Activities, PO Box 410, Mars Hill, Maine 04758.
A celebration of Priscilla's life will be held in the spring. Online condolences may be shared at www.duncan-graves.com