Remembering Angela (Angie) Smith
A memorial tribute to Westerly’s living legend, Angie Smith
By SANDY MANISCALCO
A regional “living-legend” and Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation super supporter, Angela (Angie) Smith, passed away on Feb. 29, 2020.
“She was a rare gem and left us on Leap Day, commonly referred to as ‘leap of kindness’ day in recent years. How appropriate, as there was nobody with more generosity and selflessness,” read her obituary in the Westerly Sun.
Angie was beloved.
In 1982, she was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. She was 42. She always said receiving the news was just a small setback to her life and that the diagnosis never altered her plans for having a good time.
“I never looked back, just moved on with my life,” she said. “My goal was to continue to volunteer for anything that may be needed because I love life…I love to have fun.”
Angie had a strong connection to the Brodeur Foundation. In 2013, the foundation made its official debut in Westerly – on center stage and in the pink. A show was held in honor of Lauri Luzzi of Westerly who lost her battle with cancer earlier that year and benefitted TBBCF. Read the article
“The Pink Show,” took place at the Granite Theatre in Westerly, marking the Brodeur Foundation’s first full-scale local event. It was sponsored by the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce and the Rhode Island Blood Center and included a special matinée performance of “The Sound of Music,” lunch and a short program honoring several women.
Angie was among those honored that day and over the years, she continued her support of the foundation by attending local events with her dear friends Lisa Konicki, chamber president, and Maria DiMaggio, chamber membership and operations director.
“We really wanted to create a presence in the Westerly-Pawcatuck area,” said former foundation executive director, Mary DeVizia. “We wanted to be part of the greater Westerly-Pawcatuck area, and we thought this would be the perfect way.
DeVizia said in the 2013 interview with Westerly Sun writer, Nancy Burns Fusaro, that those being honored were all “dynamic women with wonderful energy.” Honored along with Angie were Joanne French of Westerly and Cathleen Holland of Stonington.
When Angie received a second breast cancer diagnosis in late 2017, basically nothing changed. She spent the remaining years of her life following her 1982 formula of not looking back, living life to its fullest and having fun.
More importantly, she continued to take on major volunteer responsibilities such as Westerly’s 350th celebration, a year-long series of events, and continued to be recognized by many civic organizations for her outstanding community service contributions. Visit the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce Facebook tribute.
One of Angie’s trademark qualities was working extremely hard to support women in all aspects of their personal and professional lives.
She was a key member of the chamber’s Athena Award committee. For 16 years she worked with the committee toward helping to identify the most qualified honoree following strict national Athena Leadership Awards’ guidelines.
Athena Leadership Awards have been presented in more than 500 communities and eight countries since 1982, when the program was created by Martha Mertz, the only female on the board of directors of the Lansing, Michigan Regional Chamber of Commerce. She created the award to recognize outstanding local business and professional women.
Since 2003, the chamber committee has evaluated dozens of impressive nominations. In 2019, the committee surprised Angie and announced that she had been selected as one of the year’s nominees. Just months before the end of her battle with cancer, she became the 2019 Athena Award recipient.
Angie, mother of three, lost her daughter Cheryl Smith Mayhew to breast cancer in 2005. Cheryl was 41. Angie’s husband, Arthur, passed away in December 2019. Her surviving children are Dean Smith and Kelly Levcowich.
Hundreds of friends “decked to the nines” joined family members in celebrating Angie’s life at her funeral mass, March 6, at the Church of St. Claire in Misquamicut, RI.
There is so much more that could be said about Angie Smith. The links included in this story show some of the impact this amazing woman had on so many.