Harriett Gunn Smith, 92, enjoyed cultivating orchids

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Harriett Gunn Smith, 92, passed away on Nov. 16, 2016, two weeks before her 93rd birthday. She was born to John Lindsey and Eileen Blair Kirby Gunn in Norfolk. She grew up at Willoughby on the beach and always loved being on the water.

She is survived by her husband of 71 years, Capt. James A. Smith (USN Ret). They met when she was in 7th grade at Holy Trinity School. Prior to her marriage, she worked for the Navy in accounting. Harriett was a good Navy wife raising six children and moving every couple of years.

As a devote Catholic, Harriett was a member of the Little Creek Chapel Catholic Community. At various times, she did volunteer work with Catholic Charities and Meals on Wheels.

Harriett loved having the family around on the beach, celebrating with summer crab feasts. When not at the beach, she and James would take vacations traveling in a motorhome to visit her children, grandchildren and various locations in the U.S. and Canada.

She enjoyed crocheting, knitting and sewing, especially making clothes and toys for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Orchids were her passion. At one time, she had 125 plants of various species.

In addition to her husband, she is also survived by her six children and spouses, Eileen (Linda) Shea of Fredericksburg, Va., Jean and Bruce Edwards of Virginia Beach, James (Mike) and Susan Smith of Gloucester, Mass., Karen and Stan Lewis of Carolina Beach, N.C., Bernard and Josie Smith of Fredericksburg, Va., Richard and Sherry Smith of Land O Lakes, Fla.; 17 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren; and her sister, Jean O’Berry, of Huffman, Texas.

Visitation with the family will be Monday Nov. 21 from 6-7:30 p.m. at H.D. Oliver Funeral Home, 2002 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 22, at Holy Family Catholic Church, 1279 N Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach, followed by a reception. Burial will be at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ocean Park Volunteer Rescue Squad, 3769 Shore Dr., Virginia Beach VA 23455; or your favorite charity.