Obituary of Helen Mathews Smith

March 28, 2021

Helen Mathews Smith of New York, NY passed away the morning of Sunday, March 28, 2021. She was born in Chicago, IL on January 24, 1929 to Benjamin and Anna Mathews (né Pinhasik). She is predeceased by her brothers Martin and Albert Mathews and her sister Rose Smalley (Mathews). She is survived by her three children, Phebe Rand and Jonathan and Nathaniel Smith, daughter-in-law Sue Smith and six grandchildren: Paula Rand, Jeremy, Jake, Ben, Zach and Taylor Smith.

She will live on through her 30 plus years as researcher, writer and managing editor of MD Medical Magazine and through her many freelance articles in the Village Voice, Wall Street Journal, New York Sunday News, among others. Her favorite and proudest articles were on politics and the early years of the AIDS epidemic.

She was never happier than when surrounded by cherished family and friends engaged in lively dinner conversation. Her genuine curiosity in everyone she met is not only part of what made her an insightful journalist but is what drew people to her.

Your spirit will live on, gone but never forgotten.

Funeral Service on April 6, 2021 at Crestwood Funeral Home (445 W. 43 St.) at 10 am. Mass at St Michael's Church (424 W. 34 St) at 1 pm.

Donations in her honor can be made to Hopital Bon Samaritain (HBS), a full service hospital with outreach programs, is situated in the river valley of Limbé, Haiti. Since 1953, Hôpital Bon Samaritain provides health care services for the greater population of the Limbé Valley located in the Département du Nord.
Hôpital Bon Samaritain is a project of Fondation HBS a Haitian non-profit organization and is sponsored in part by HBS Foundation, Inc, a non-profit, 501c3, Florida, USA registered organization.

Funeral Services

Memorial Service

April 6, 2021

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Crestwood Funeral Home

445 West 43rd Street

New York, NY 10036

Get Directions

Funeral Mass

April 6, 2021

1:00 PM

Saint Michael's Church

424 West 34th Street

New York, NY 10001

Get Directions

Share a Memory

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Hellen, on those occasions when I stayed in your home, you always made me feel that you were offering, "Ma maison est ta maison."

Posted by: richard ebner - rockland, ME - April 2, 2021

Baruch Dayan Emet may your mother's memory be of a blessing.

Posted by: Doug Wiggins - , - April 5, 2021

Helen was an incredibly vivacious and curious person who was very humble about her vast knowledge, and I sorely miss her. We had many great conversations about CL, George Orwell, and art. I have so many great memories of our encounters that it's hard to select just one but I will always treasure the ones related to visits with her in her home. I am praying for the repose of her soul and for the comfort of her family. Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord.

Posted by: Henry Artis - New York, NY - April 6, 2021

I met Helen in the mid-1970's; she was a long-time good friend of my then-new husband. We enjoyed her company everywhere we met her place, our place, Maine. We read her writings, argued the finer points of life with her, and laughed a lot together. Later, she welcomed my son and me to her apartment. I fell asleep after a long drive, waking up to a VERY silent space. Looking around, I realized there was happy noise outside the windows, and found she had taken him down to the backyard basketball court where he was fully engaged in the neighborhood game. What a treat! Another visit, she had carefully acquired a breakfast bread from a well-known local bakery, hoping it would be OK in comparison to a holiday loaf I sent each winter (it absolutely WAS!). We'd review the health status of her extensive balcony garden. She introduced me to favorite local restaurants. Her friendship and hospitality was beyond generous. I miss her greatly!

Posted by: Carolyn Haack - Glenview, IL - April 10, 2021