The Passing of Eugenia Smith

To the Williams community,

I write to share the sad news that retired college bursar Eugenia “Genie” Smith passed away on Friday, January 11, at the Williamstown Commons.

Genie wore many hats during her respected 21-year tenure at Williams. She joined the college development office in 1974 and later moved to accounts payable and student accounts, which she ultimately oversaw as bursar. At the time of her retirement, her colleagues estimated that she had guided approximately 30,000 students through the billing and registration process and collected more than $352 million for the college. And she did so with kindness and care: It was not unusual for her to receive notes and tokens of thanks from grateful students and their families at graduation time.

Born in Newton, Kan., on June 8, 1928, the daughter of Clara Eugenia (Dains) Williamson and Harvey Laird Williamson, Genie spent most of her childhood in Durham, N.C. A graduate of Duke University, she married Edward Smith in 1952. The couple moved to Williamstown in 1959 and founded the weekly Williamstown News, which was in operation until 1973. At Williams she worked under three presidents, three treasurers, one business manager and two controllers. When away from work she was an active volunteer with St. John’s Episcopal Church in Williamstown and enjoyed playing bridge with her friends.

Genie was predeceased by her husband; her sister, Emmy Lou Hamshar; and two children, Eugenia “Ginger” Ficke and Edward Smith Jr. She is survived by two sons, Harvey and Alexander “Sandy”; a daughter, Helen; two granddaughters; and two great-grandchildren.

A funeral service to celebrate Genie Smith’s life will take place Saturday, January 19, at 1 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Williamstown.

Our thoughts are with Genie’s family and friends.


Maud S. Mandel

Professor of History; Program in Jewish Studies