Sarah Tod Smith
March 30, 1926 to June 6, 2017
Sarah Tod Smith, known to her friends as Sally, died at home in New York City on June 6, 2017. She was 91.
Sally was born Sarah Tod Lohmann in New Haven, Conn., where she attended the Foote School. She graduated from St. Timothy’s School in 1943 and received a BA from Vassar College in 1946.
After college she moved to New York City and worked for several years at the Museum of Modern Art. She lived in Manhattan for the rest of her life, raising four children and seven grandchildren there, but her New England roots ran deep: she never stopped rooting for the Red Sox.
She loved to sing choral music – primarily with the Canterbury Choral Society, with whom she sang for almost fifty years – and she became a skilled recorder player. She particularly loved baroque and renaissance music, and was an enthusiastic supporter of the early music movement in New York from its beginning.
Sally spoke Italian well and travelled to Italy regularly. On her first trip there she met her future husband, J. Kellum Smith, Jr. They were divorced after a long marriage.
In her late forties, with carpentry skills she had learned from her father, Sally joined the York Theatre Company as a set carpenter and all-around backstage hand, eventually becoming the company’s Technical Director for several years and serving on its board of directors until her death. In the last year of her life she received the Founders Award from the York, sharing the stage with Joel Grey. She also served for decades on the board of the Interschool Orchestras of New York. She was a member of the Cosmopolitan Club in New York for fifty-nine years.
Sally spent every summer of her life in Chatham, on the property her parents had bought in the Old Village. A large part of her heart was in Chatham: she read and re-read books by Phoebe Atwood Taylor and Joseph C. Lincoln every summer, and was proud of her matchless knowledge of the area’s back roads. She loved to sail and taught her children and grandchildren the elements of seamanship with a stern eye. She and her husband commissioned one of Spaulding Dunbar’s larger boats, the ketch Nonesuch, and cruised in her every summer for many years. She was also an athlete, having played basketball in college and tennis as an adult. She was a member of both the Stage Harbor Yacht Club and the Chatham Beach and Tennis Club for nearly fifty years, and a lifelong supporter of the Eldredge Public Library.
She is survived by her children, Alison Smith (of Brooklyn, N.Y.), Timothy Smith (of Madison, Conn.), Jennifer Hayden (of Hopewell, N.J.), and Christopher Smith (of New York, N.Y.), and by seven grandchildren: Helena and Julia Anrather, Anthony, Isabel and Lucy Smith, and Christopher and Charlotte Hayden.
Contributions in Sally’s memory can be made to the Eldredge Public Library and the Friends of Chatham Waterways. A memorial service will be held for her in New York in September.