Matilda H. “Tillie” Smith, 96, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY —  Matilda H. “”Tillie” Smith, 96, peacefully died on Aug. 1, 2020, at Samaritan Hospital after a long and tenacious struggle with various health issues. She was supported by her daughter, Claudia with help from Greg Hall.

A funeral Mass will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church with burial to follow in Glenwood Cemetery. There will be no calling hours.

Born Sept. 12, 1923, the daughter of Hungarian immigrants Antal and Helen Schwarckopf, she started life on a farm near Evans Mills. With three brothers and three sisters, she enjoyed farm life until the farm was taken over in the Pine Camp Expansion of 1941 (later becoming Fort Drum). Fondly, she remembered riding the hay wagon with her siblings and going to cottages. Another childhood memory was of the family standing by the road when a large car drove by and a bag of oranges was thrown out. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was in the car. She always said that they were poor but didn’t know it as they always had enough and had each other.

Matilda attended Mrs. Lucy Porter’s one room schoolhouse from first through eighth grades and graduated from Black River High School in 1941. She then attended the Culver Academy in Syracuse to get her Beautician’s license. Later she worked 6 years at F.W. Woolworth, with her last job was at Barbalich’s Meat Market retiring in 1995.

Matilda married Army veteran Everett Smith on Sept. 11, 1948. They had four children, Claudia, Mark, Jeffrey and Ellen.

Surviving are her three children, Claudia Smith (Greg Hall) of Watertown,  Jeffrey (Deborah) Smith of Camillus and Ellen (Mark) Dunbar of Canastota; a brother William, Cleveland OH; grandchildren, great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews.

Matilda was predeceased by her husband, Everett, a son Mark, her parents along with her siblings Margaret, Anthony, Elizabeth (Helmetsie), Helen (Hubbard) and Joseph.

Matilda was determined, patient, and upbeat in her outlook. She enjoyed people. Matilda was fond of making “Syrian” bread and various pies to share with the family. Quilting was an interest of hers for many years and she enjoyed TV shows with dancing, Judge Judy and Catholic Mass on YouTube.

She attended Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church for decades until forced to quit due to health.

The family would like to thank all the friendly and supportive health care professionals who helped her along the way and provided positive energy to her and Claudia.

Donations may be made in her name to Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Church, 320 W. Lynde St., Watertown, NY 13601.

To leave condolences or view the obituary online go to