In Memory of





Obituary for Marion Lee "Vella" Smith

WARREN - Marion (Vella) Lee Barrett Smith, passed away peacefully on July 15, 2022 with her family by her side.
Vella was born April 29, 1923 in Mars Hill, Maine to Dennison E. and Edna A. Barrett, the third of five children. She grew up on a potato farm in northern Maine before moving to Warren during her junior year of high school in 1939. She graduated from Warren High School, Ballard Business School, and the University of Maine.

She married Russell (Casey) Smith on November 28, 1942 in the Second Congregational Church of Warren. They established a home in Warren where they reared their three daughters and resided until their deaths. An avid reader, Vella also enjoyed gardening, and quilting, and was a member of the Tuesday Quilters and Good Intentions Quilt Clubs. With her husband, Casey, she enjoyed square-dancing with the Coastal Clippers.

Vella’s love of children and of learning was reflected in her thirty-two-year career as a dedicated schoolteacher in School Administrative District #40, where she taught first in Waldoboro at the Miller Grade and A. D. Gray schools, and later in Warren at the Frank D. Rowe School. She deeply cared for her students and maintained life-long friendships with many former pupils. She was affiliated with Delta Kappa Gamma, a sorority of educators.

Mrs. Smith’s life was defined by her devotion to and love for her faith, her family, and her community. She was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Thomaston, Maine and later became a member of the Second Congregational Church. She was past president of the Ladies’ Social Circle and of the Dorcas Circle of King’s Daughters, and served on the Pastoral Review Board, Board of Christian Education, and the Diaconate. She was a Sunday school teacher, and for many years sang in the choir and took part in the church’s variety shows. She was also a member of Ivy Chapter #16 of the Eastern Star.

Vella served her community as curator of the Warren Historical Society and as a member of the Warren Scholarship Committee. Her contributions to the community were recognized with the White Oak Grange Good Citizenship Award and by a plaque and commendation from the Warren Scholarship Committee thanking her for valuable input throughout her many years of service.

Above all else, Vella cherished her family, welcoming every family member into her home and into her heart. She understood that love is not finite and divisible, but infinite and inclusive. Her petite frame housed a heart in which there was room for everyone, including the many friends who gave her life joy and meaning. Her parting greeting after a visit or a phone call was always,” Love you to no end.”

Vella was predeceased by her daughter Marion Mac Donnell and by her husband, Russell (Casey). She is survived by her two daughters, Carrie-Sue (Thomas) Stevenson of Jefferson, and Margie-Alice (Albert) Reyes of New York, and by John MacDonnell of Union; by six grandchildren: Christopher (Wendy) Stevenson of Palo Alto, CA; Michael Stevenson of Boston; Peter (Carolyn) Reyes of Dewitt, NY; John (Kathleen) Reyes of Charlton, NY; Mary Jeanne MacDonnell of Plainville, Connecticut; and John (Joanna) MacDonnell of Los Angeles, CA; and by many nieces and nephews. Her beloved great-grandchildren include Andrew Stevenson, Ethan Reyes, Paige Reyes, Adam Reyes, Benjamin Reyes, Daniel Reyes, and Meredith Reyes.

At Vella’s request, a private graveside service will be held for family members at a later date. Her family would like to thank the home hospice staff from Sussman House for their loving, expert care, and requests that anyone wishing to make a memorial donation directs it to Sussman House, C/O Pen Bay / Waldo Health Care Foundation, 22 White Street, Rockland, ME 04841. Also, in remembrance of Vella, do something kind today-smile at a stranger, hug a child, phone a loved one. Be the person who leaves the world a better place because you were here. To share a memory or story with Vella’s family, please visit her online Book of Memories at