We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Fagen Miller Funeral Homes - Highland
Mary Ellen Smith, 95, of Highland, passed away peacefully at her home of 68 years surrounded by loved ones on June 12, 2022. She was born on July 26, 1926, in north Chicago to Arthur and Theresa Pankau. She was preceded in death by her only sibling, Arthur Pankau, Jr. Mary Ellen is survived by her children, Rev. David Smith of Highland and Marilee (Randy) Seymour of Bellevue, WA; her grandchildren, Danielle and Michelle Seymour of Austin, TX; and her dear friend and housemate, Marjorie Norton.
Mary Ellen graduated from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College where she served as class president and played on the volleyball, basketball, baseball, and field hockey teams. She went on to earn a Master's Degree in biology at Marquette University and became a researcher for Searle Pharmaceuticals. Marriage to Thomas L. Smith (deceased) in 1953 brought her to Highland. She became active in the local Garden Club and served on the Indiana State Board of the League of Women Voters.
Mary Ellen earned a certificate in education and became a teacher, first teaching science at St. Mary’s School in Griffith and later teaching biology at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond. She eventually became the Dean of Girls at Noll where she worked for 20 years. While there, she and Marge coached the girls’ volleyball and basketball teams. For many years, Mary Ellen was a senior Girl Scout troop leader and served as Girl Scout Council president for one term.
Mary Ellen loved nature and animals of all sorts, especially her dogs. She greatly enjoyed fishing and taking her family on vacations to National Parks and wilderness areas. She and Marge took numerous groups of scouts on canoe trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota. Mary Ellen will be remembered for her kind, caring heart and her incredibly generous and loving personality. She was a faithful member of Our Lady of Grace Parish where she was an active member of the Altar and Rosary Sodality, serving two terms as president.
Visitation will be held at the Fagen-Miller Funeral Home, 2828 Highway Ave in Highland on Wednesday, June 29 from 3–7 pm. A prayer service will begin at 6 pm followed by a Girl Scout tribute. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, 3025 Highway Ave in Highland on Thursday, June 30 at 11 am.
Mary Ellen loved her flower garden and supported charities that helped animals. So, flowers will be welcome as well as donations in her name to Best Friends Animal Society (bestfriends.org) or the Humane Society (humanesociety.org).
421 - 45th Ave, Munster IN 46321
Best Friends Animal Society
5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab UT 84741