Obituary: Joan Smith

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Joan Smith, wonderful and giving mother to Evan Smith, loving wife and companion to Allan Fishkind, generous and attentive to friends and loved ones and one of the top event florists in the New York Metropolitan area, including in-house floriSt. for the prestigious New York Lotus Club for ten years.

Never far from smelling the roses, Joan volunteered teaching floral classes to community groups. She passionately engaged children at North Shore Child Guidance and the Port Washington Children’s Center, where the children left with an appreciation of flowers and a centerpiece gift of their own. She also offered classes to adults at the Port Washington Public Library.

Coming from a deprived childhood of her own, Joan had a special heart and empathy for disadvantaged children. In 1999, Joan revisited the neighborhood of her youth in the South Bronx to memorialize her late brother, Irwin. As a result of Joan and Allan’s substantial donation, Friends of Crotona Park, Phipps Community Development Corp and the JM Kaplan Fund were able to refurbish a derelict boathouse in Crotona Park and turn it into a nature center where Joan taught floral classes to the neighborhood children. Joan’s charitable interests in Crotona Park extended to teaching area women living in a safe house who came from battered and abused environments.

Many non-profit organizations have been the recipients of Joan’s creative gifts and time. In 1989 Joan was honored by Long Island Association for Aids Care for her successful fundraising efforts during a time when the Aids epidemic was something that people did not understand and avoided getting involved. In 2003, Joan was honored again for her successful fundraising efforts for Film Aid International, whose mission involved refugees in remote camps in EaSt. Africa and Tanzania.

Everyone in Port Washington knew and loved the Joan Smith Floral Shop, which was located there for 35 years. Customers returned, not only for the beauty of her craft but for Joan’s outgoing spirit and larger-than-life personality. Joan had a compellingly honeSt. and irreverent wit, which kept customers returning as friends. Joan had an unforgettable charisma, zeSt. for life and a philosophy that did not allow for vanity or doubt.

Joan never judged others; she had a gift of seeing beyond the surface and was able to communicate with a person’s soul. Her attitude of acceptance and empathy helped people to value themselves as the unique individuals they are. Everyone who had been touched by Joan was touched by an angel. A world without Joan Smith is diminished by her absence, but as anyone who has ever known her, has benefited from her grace.

Donations to “The Joan Smith Memorial Fund” will be dedicated to a memorial bench and plaque in Port Washington. Proceeds from the fund will also go to animal rescue organizations, St. Jude Hospital, and V-Day (Movement). Donations can be made out to “Joan Smith Memorial Fund” and sent to Allan Fishkind, 93 Webster Ave., Port Washington, NY 11050.

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