By Maggi Sellers
Friends and family came from near and far this month to celebrate the life of Claudia “Dusty” Smith, a Morristown realtor who died on New Year’s Eve. She was 67.
Pianist Rio Clemente, the “Bishop of Jazz,” entertained the large gathering at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park.
Guests included Dusty’s clients at Coldwell Banker, childhood friends from Oregon, and three sons.
One of the sons, Dan Smith, remembered when Dusty married his father and took on three young boys…because she wanted to be their mom.
He spoke of her selflessness and her wonderful heart, and then opened the microphone to others who shared similar memories of a kind, caring, generous, funny, dedicated and hardworking woman.
Photo displays ranged from Dusty’s youth in Oregon to recent St Patrick’s Day parades in Morristown.
She was born in Medford, OR, to the late Jack Lewis and Hope Hord . She graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Sociology, and was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She also spent a year studying at the Universita de Pavia in Pavia, Italy.
After college, Dusty went to San Francisco. With her family, she would move to Westfield, NJ, and the Philippines, before settling in Morris Township, NJ, in 1981.
Dusty was a consistent top producer in a real estate career spanning more than three decades. In 1997, she joined the Morristown Coldwell Banker office, where she ranked in the top percentage of sales associates nationally and was highly respected by colleagues.
She established lasting relationships with her clients, and performed charitable work with Toys For Tots and animal rescue.
She passed after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Her sons, her beloved dogs Lily and Chloe, and myself, her colleague and friend, were by her side.
Dusty is survived by her husband, Charles Smith of Morristown; sons Charles Smith and his wife Liz of Portland, OR; Dan Smith and his wife Donna of Lynbrook, NY; and Chris Smith of Brooklyn, NY.
She also leaves her sister Roxanne Gault and her husband Roger of Piedmont, CA; and her brother Scott Lewis and his wife Diane of Coos Bay, OR.
The family suggests that donations in Dusty’s memory be made to St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center.
Dusty leaves a legacy of love, laughter, and generosity that will be cherished by all who knew her.