Mary Bernice Smith died peacefully on Oct. 27, 2023 at 97. She was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio and moved to Provincetown almost 30 years ago to join her brother, Paul, in her retirement. She lived a life of faith in and service to the Catholic Church.
After graduating from high school, Mary joined a religious order, the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown. As Sister Mary Leah she taught elementary and high school students throughout the Youngstown Diocese. She also earned multiple college degrees: a bachelor’s in education from St. John’s College, a master’s in history from Marquette University, and a Ph.D. (ABD) in history from Kent State University.
After 31 years of service to the Ursuline Order, Mary trained and worked as a hospital chaplain in Ohio, Michigan, and North Carolina for nearly 20 years. Even after retiring and moving to Provincetown, she worked part-time for Elder Services and the Provincetown Public Library. She was embraced by the Provincetown community and lived independently for her last 20 years.
Mary is survived by her nephews, Michael P. Gallagher of Youngstown and Lawrence T. Gallagher and wife Christine of Andover, N.J. She was predeceased by her parents, John I. and Katherine (Malone) Smith; her brother, Paul L. Smith; and her sister, Catherine M. (Smith) Gallagher.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Peter the Apostle Church in Provincetown at 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 6. Burial will follow at St. Peter’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Mary’s memory to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at ssvpusa.org.