Aileen passed away naturally on August 14, 2021 at age 97. She had a great run ! Her Whidbey Island family includes daughter Lynn Smith and granddaughter Melyssa Smith and her Arizona family includes son Keith Smith, daughter-in-law Judi Iwata-Smith and grandsons Ben and Jason Smith. We are all celebrating her life !
Aileen grew up on a dairy farm on Long Island NY, the granddaughter of educated deaf German Jewish parents who fled the Kaiser with their children in 1861 immigrating to NYC and immediately applied for US citizenship. Those immigrants’ daughter, their youngest child by 36 years, Bertha Schuler, was Aileen’s mother and her father was Edward Albrecht, who disappeared when Aileen was age seven. Single Mom Bertha, a milliner, seamstress and gardener then lived in cold water house in Monsey NY with her 3 children, Aileen plus Jay and Johnny, Aileen’s two younger brothers, whose passing preceded Aileen’s.
Aileen married Chauncey Smith Jr. and they raised Lynn and Keith in North Hampton NH. She went back to college at the University of New Hampshire in her 40’s and ultimately earned a Master’s Degree at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Divorced she then married Herb Weissblum, now deceased, and they moved to Whidbey Island “Because there is a Christian Science Church and Washington is the most like New England, but slower.”
In her 80’s she added a residence to that on Whidbey, a solo move, taking her beloved cat Misty, into downtown Seattle to engage in its vibrant arts and theater scenes and attended the Women’s University Club. She then moved to a fancy Christian Science residential facility in San Francisco, divorced Herb Weissblum, and ultimately in 2018 moved to a Christian Science owned assisted living residence in West Seattle.
Aileen was a prolific and consummate water color artist, a world traveler, who taught Art to prisoners, public school children, and even her neighbors. She loved to both grow and paint flowers. She was an extraordinarily social human being…she made friends of strangers everywhere she went, often while riding the ferry !
At some point in the future there will be a formal Celebration of Her Life, Open House and extensive Art Showing to be held at the Clinton Community Hall which will be posted in Whidbey local media.