Mary Smith Hertling, 95, passed away November 12, 2020. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 46 years, Major Eugene F. Hertling, Jr., USMC, and four siblings: Isabel McSwain, Sara Jo Collier, Julia Allerd Smith, and Everett Walker Smith. Mary is survived by her daughters, Jacqueline Dwyer (Danny) and Katherine Trossi (David); four grandchildren, Katherine Trossi Daiell (Chris), Mary Dwyer Stonich (Troye), David Andrew Trossi (Daihara), and John William Trossi (Mika); three great-grandchildren, Emarie Alice Stonich, Troye Stonich Jr., and Adriana Trossi-Gonzalez; a sister, Betty Cox; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. Born in Threeway, Va. to Everett Allerd and Julia Walker Smith, Mary was living in Charlottesville with her daughter, Kathy and family at the time of her death.
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In 1941, Mary left the only home she knew having barely reached the young age of 16 after graduating early from high school. She obtained a scholarship to college, lived the working-class ‘single life’ for several years before meeting and marrying a promising, young, then non-commissioned Marine, and went on to become a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, great-aunt and great-great aunt, as well as a gentle, caring friend to many, young and old alike. Returning to the Northern Neck in 1970 after her husband’s military retirement, Mary became an active community member assisting her husband with his role in building the local Boy Scouts of America program and serving in leadership roles within St. John’s Episcopal Church in Warsaw and the Military Officer’s Association (MOAA). She taught 3rd grade for a brief period of time in the Westmoreland County Public School system before and after her husband’s retirement and later provided part-time administrative support for a local veterinarian practice and the Richmond County School Board. In later years, Mary volunteered with the local Meals on Wheels program and knitted numerous baby caps for St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond (and later for Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital after moving to Charlottesville in 2013). She loved water aerobics and the special friendship formed with a group affectionately known to its members as the “Tappahannock Water Lilies”. In everything she did, Mary approached life with a quiet grace, patience, and strength.
The family would like to thank Mary’s kind and compassionate caregivers, especially Jackie Harris, with whom she developed a special bond and friendship, as well as all the staff of Charlottesville’s Home Instead Senior Care for their support. The family would also like to thank Hospice of the Piedmont for their gentle and caring assistance during her final months of life.
Hill and Wood Funeral Home in Charlottesville is helping the family with initial arrangements. Mary will rest eternally beside her beloved husband in a family plot at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Warsaw.
In lieu of flowers, it was Mary’s wish that contributions be made in her memory to St. John’s Memorial Endowment Fund, P. O. Box 1093, Warsaw, Virginia, 22572. Memorial donations may also be made c/o the Rector’s Discretionary Fund, Grace Episcopal Church – Cismont, P. O. Box 43, Keswick, Virginia, 22947.