Valerie J. Smyth

Valerie J. Smyth, 81, of Benton Harbor, died in her home on Mon., May 18, 2015, after a brief fight with cancer. Arrangements have been entrusted with Starks & Menchinger Funeral Home in St. Joseph, MI.

Valerie was born on April 19, 1934 in Chicago, IL to John and Erma (Hicks) Ehemann. She is survived by her loving husband, Gerry A. Smyth, MD; her three children – Jennifer (Wayne Taylor) Smyth of Chicago, IL, John (Maggie) Smyth of San Diego, CA and Douglas (Katie) Smyth of Minneapolis, MN; proud grandmother of Jack, Tommy, Joey and Ella. Val is also survived by a niece Christie Weiss and cousin Audre Mendel Carlin.

Val studied ballet at Stone & Cameron in Chicago and danced professionally as her first career, but later moved on to healthcare. She had an undaunted spirit and loved all around her.

A Celebration of Life service will take place on Friday, May 22, 3:30 PM, at Starks & Menchinger Funeral Home, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph, MI, with Chaplain Kevin Brintnall officiating. Visitation is one hour prior to the service from 2:30-3:30 PM on Friday. Burial is at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Lake Forest, IL on Sat., May 23 at 11:00 AM (CST). Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society. Friends wishing to leave the family a message of condolence may do so at

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