Provincetown’s Lana Frances Valentine Williams, most recently of Sebastian, Fla., died peacefully on Dec. 10, 2022 surrounded by loved ones just 13 days shy of her 80th birthday. The cause was cancer.
Lana was born in Provincetown to Viola “Vi” Ferreira Valentine and Francis “Pie” Valentine on Dec. 23, 1942. She graduated in 1960 from Provincetown High School, where she served as secretary-treasurer of the student council and declared her ambition, in the yearbook, “to become a good wife and mother and have a family proud of me.”
She met Lawrence Gene Smith while working at the Adams Pharmacy. Lawrence, from Seabrook, Texas, was an airman stationed at the base in Truro. They married and raised four children.
Lana was a good wife and mother, “friendly, and loved working with others,” said her granddaughter Ashley Healy. She worked as a real estate agent, in sales and management, and as a receptionist to over 400 residents at Prosperity Oaks in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Perhaps her favorite work, however, was owning a neighborhood grocery store, Willy’s Market, at 93 Commercial St. in Provincetown, which she bought in 1979 and sold in 1988. In an article published shortly before she sold the market, Diana Fabbri wrote, “Lana anchors the whole neighborhood by providing a center for people to gather.”
“I know all the neighborhood cats and dogs,” Lana told Fabbri. “Not only have I raised my own kids but some of the neighborhood kids, too.”
Lana’s love of her hometown and strong connections in the community lasted her whole life, said Ashley.
Lana was also proud of her community work in Sebastian where she co-founded the Senior Activity Center and especially enjoyed playing Four Deck Canasta.
“The simplest pleasures in life brought Lana great joy,” Ashley said. She had an uncanny ability to find happiness in daily activities like reading, dancing, crafting, sewing, and playing games with friends or family with a glass of wine in hand, her granddaughter recalled.
Lana also loved writing and photography and took many pictures on her trips to Alaska, England, Ireland, Scotland, Greece, and São Miguel, Azores.
Her loving, steadfast dedication to her family is her legacy, Ashley said.
Lana is survived by her sister, Sandra, and brother-in-law, Steven Roda, of Harwich; her four children, Lynnette Smith and partner Kai Jacobson of Puerto Rico, Lance Smith of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Laurel Cook of Greensboro, N.C., and Lesley Denman and partner David Rowse of Manchester-by-the-Sea; her six grandchildren, Ashley Healy and Matt of Exeter, N.H., Chad Hedlund and Cana of Spearfish, S.Dak. and Newport, N.H., Shane Hedlund and Alex DiBacco of Rowley, Corbin Cook and Jackie of Jacksonville, N.C., Caleb Cook of Garner, N.C., and Addison Lummert of Greensboro, N.C.; three great-grandchildren in Exeter, N.H.; and an aunt, cousins, and several nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and -nephews.
A funeral service and a celebration of Lana’s life will be held in Provincetown during the summer of 2023. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (stjude.org/donate).