Eleanor "Lee" Smith

Obituary of Eleanor "Lee" B. Smith

Eleanor "Lee" Besemer Smith of Geneseo passed away peacefully in her home on Sunday, March 3, 2024, after a courageous battle with old age. She was 93.

Lee was born on July 21, 1930, and grew up in Kingston, NY. Her parents, Walter and Louise Besemer, were German immigrants. They were co-owners, and lived above, the Wagner & Besemer Deli in Kingston. She was very close to her beloved brother, Egon, who was nine years her senior. Egon was hospitalized for two years with polio as a child, then went on to have a career as a chemist. Sadly, he died in 1955.

Lee enrolled in the University of Rochester at 16, where she earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry. She met her future husband Richard "Dick" Smith at the U of R in a chemistry lab, and they married in 1951. She worked at Kodak but was asked to resign when they noticed she was pregnant. Dick became a college professor, and in 1965 he accepted a position at SUNY Geneseo.

Dick and Lee were supporters of the arts. They made many trips to Toronto and London, where they especially enjoyed classical music, theater, and fine art. Lee also loved to read, go to the movies, and do crossword puzzles in pen.

Lee was predeceased by her husband, Dr. Richard F. Smith, and brother, Egon Walter Besemer.

She is survived by her children, Marilyn (Walter Putter) Smith of Syracuse, Kenneth (Maureen) Smith of Lakeville, and Janet (Jonathan Goldberg) Smith of Newton, MA; grandchildren, Sean Flanagan, Patricia (Stephen Watson) Smith, Leanne Smith, Rosalie Goldberg, and Arnon Goldberg; and three great grandchildren—Christopher, Shay, and Daxtyn.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Genesee Valley Council on the Arts, 4 Murray Hill Dr., Mt. Morris, NY 14510, or the Livingston County Hospice Fund, 2 Murray Hill Dr., Mt. Morris, NY 14510.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Eleanor "Lee"
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Rector-Hicks Funeral Home Inc
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