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Gertrude Mabel Noble Smyth

Gertrude Mabel Noble Smyth died unexpectedly but peacefully on January 27, 2018 at her home in The Residence at Riverbend, County Road, Ipswich where she lived for the past several years.   Despite her limited mobility, she became known at The Riverbend for her thoughtfulness, generous heart and friendly nature by staff and residents alike, and she cherished her time there.  Prior to her moving to The Riverbend, she lived for many years on Labor-in-Vain Road where, together with her late husband James Davies “Jim” Smyth, she created a loving, warm and welcoming home.

Born in Cambridge, daughter of the late John W. and Lena (Blais) Noble, she graduated from Cambridge High and Latin School, where she was elected Class Secretary, and Burdett College. She and Jim were married at Christ Church (Episcopal), Harvard Square, where the Nobles were longstanding members, and later moved to Ipswich when Jim accepted the position of Town Accountant.  They quickly immersed themselves in town affairs, becoming among its strongest advocates, with Jim serving as Selectman, School Committeeman, and Finance Committee member for many years and Mabel volunteering with a variety of community causes. 

In addition to being a devoted wife and mother, Mabel was involved in numerous charity organizations.   She was a member of the First Church in Ipswich for over 50 years, where she was one of the first female Deacons and taught Sunday School.  She was the North Shore Representative to the Red Cross, responsible for organizing area blood drives, and was a member of the Republican Women’s Club, regularly working the polls in Ipswich.  Her involvement in youth programs included many years spent as a leader in both the YMCA’s Tri-Hi-Y and Girl Scouts, helping instill the group’s mission to “build girls of courage, confidence, and character, and to make theworld a better place.”  A passionate bridge player, she helped found the weekly bridge group at the Ipswich Council on Aging which, upon her retirement from the group, was officially named, “The Mabel Smyth Bridge Club,” in her honor, recognizing not only her skills as an organizer and recruiter, but also for her many acts of kindness, concern for others and “consistent presence as a player and friend.”

In her spare time, she enjoyed gardening and tending to her plants, watching “Jeopardy!” every night, enthusiastically rooting for the New England Patriots and was an avid reader. 

Mabel is survived by her daughter Karen Munselle, of Mission Viejo, CA, daughter Pamela Baker and her husband Roupen, of Sandwich; son Matthew D. Smyth of Washington, DC and Cambridge, MD; grandchildren Christopher Case, of California, and Amanda Case and her husband Nicholas Holmes, of France; great-grandchildren Andrew, Samantha and Alexandra Case, California; brother Jack Noble and wife Maureen, of Winchester; sisters-in-law Nellie Smyth, Pennsylvania, and Doris Smyth, New Hampshire; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 11:00 a.m., at the First Church in Ipswich, followed immediately by interment next to her husband in Cowles Memorial Cemetery, Ipswich.  Arrangements by the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in her memory may be made to the Ipswich Council on Aging, Memorial Gift Account, 25 Green Street, Ipswich, MA  01938.

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