Niles loses true friend in death of Jeri Smith

Published 2:05 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2006

By Staff
NILES - Jeri Smith, a lifelong advocate and cheerleader for Niles and its residents, died unexpectedly Monday morning at her home here.
She was 62.
Smith, 62, served as administrative assistant at the Chamber for nearly 20 years, retiring at the end of 2002. She served 19 presidents and boards of directors during her tenure.
However, Sather said Smith was known most for her caring nature.
Sather said Smith was the epitomy of what a Chamber should be, “the center of the community.
Niles Daily Star Publisher Jan Griffey said little known to others was Smith's interest in the activities of Niles area law enforcement officers.
In 1993, Smith was honored as citizen of the year in the Niles Daily Star Horizons edition, nominated for that honor by the Chamber's board at the time.
During her lifetime of work in Niles, she was involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Niles Noon Optimist Club, United Way of Greater Niles and Civitan, among many other activities.
Smith was best known for her ability to answer bizarre and unusual questions about the Niles community.
In the Citizen of the Year article in 1993, Smith said, “ Some calls…the answers aren't in files, but they're in my head…They don't know the name of it, they don't know its location. They just know a little about it…There's not too many people in Niles I don't know or can't track down.”
Smith is survived by her husband, Bill Smith, and four daughters.
Funeral arrangements were being completed this morning at Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles.