Carlin Smith Was Kind and Intelligent Person

Carlin Smith died at her home on Edgartown Road in West Tisbury in the early morning hours of August 18. She was 87.

During the last few months of her life she would sit on her deck in the early evening with her cat Liam, looking with deep wonder and thoughtfulness at her view of greenery and trees swaying in the breeze, saying a silent goodbye. On more than one such occasion she quietly said that an obituary for her should contain only that she was kind and loved her cat. Both of these attributes are true, but her family would like to add a little more, and know she would forgive them.

Carlin was descended from old West Tisbury and Edgartown families and enjoyed life long ties with the Island, moving here year-round in 1954, moving to Nantucket for a stretch, and returning again in 1984 with her husband, Frederick H. Smith, to stay.

Carlin was graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Douglas College and from Katherine Gibbs. She worked as a Manhattan art gallery assistant, a mother of three, a legal secretary and paralegal, a typist and proofreader. Her favorite places that she lived were New York, Paris, Kyoto and West Tisbury.

She was a beautiful woman, though modest and unassuming, and loved it when she was likened to Katharine Hepburn. She had a wonderful intellect that she put to use in many ways, including enjoying a good political argument. She found the greatest enjoyment in solving the Harpers, Atlantic and New York Times crosswords, and was a formidable scrabble player. She followed politics keenly and was ferociously a lifelong Democrat. She was also a lifelong meticulous needlepointer, smocker, maker of braided rugs, knitter of fishermen sweaters, upholsterer and sewer of extraordinary clothes for her grandchildren. And the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour has just lost its number one fan.

She was a loving and thoughtful grandmother and will be much missed by her grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her second husband, Frederick H. Smith, and missed greatly her aunt, Dionis Riggs, when she died a few years ago. She leaves behind her sons, Richard C. LaHart of Boston and Roger O. LaHart of Aztec, N.M.; her daughter, Julie LaHart Keefe of West Tisbury; her grandchildren, Hannah, Joseph and Sebastian Keefe of West Tisbury and Cameron LaHart of Albuquerque, N.M.; her cousins, Cynthia Riggs, Ann Fielder and Alvida Jones of West Tisbury; her close friends, Lucy Stuart of West Tisbury and Ann Gordon of Oak Bluffs; and of course, her cat, Liam.

Carlin and her family were given invaluable help by Hospice, particularly in the form of nurse Juleann VanBell, and would ask that any donations in her memory be given to this extraordinary organization. A graveside service is being held at the West Tisbury Cemetery at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 22.