Sunday, February 2, 2003

Obituary: Marjorie Smith, interior decorator

She and her husband worked for Myers Cooper in the '50s

By Karen Andrew
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mrs. Smith

Businesswoman, manager and interior decorator Marjorie Tanner Smith, who was born in 1906, grew up on a farm on land that is now part of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. To earn money, she maintained a line of traps and would go out before school each morning with her rifle to collect her catch.

One of her grandsons, Greg Carnes of Hyde Park, said her upbringing by hard-working Boone County farmers led to her later success in business.

"She really was to a lot of people a remarkable person, not only because of working hard in business, but she'd become involved with the families (of her clients)," he said. "She'd spread goodwill. She was always an optimist and believed the future was going to get better."

Mrs. Smith died Thursday at the Blue Ash Nursing and Rehabilitation Residence. The Hyde Park resident was 96.

Born in Ludlow to Harvey Smith Tanner and Cordella Cullum Craven Tanner, she graduated from Boone County High School in 1923. She married Julius Maurer Smith in 1937. As children they went to school together in a one-room schoolhouse in Northern Kentucky.

In 1950, the Smiths began working for Myers Y. Cooper, former governor of Ohio and builder and developer of Hyde Park and other Cincinnati neighborhoods.

While Mr. Smith worked as the sales manager, Mrs. Smith sold real estate and helped the firm's architect design the homes Mr. Cooper built.

Her other grandson, Gary Carnes of Montgomery, said his grandmother had no formal training in interior decorating and was a smart, creative person. He said his grandparents loved to try to help people to solve their housing, job and even personal problems.

"She had a special talent for making new acquaintances feel they were family members," he said. "She treated her tenants like family."

The Smiths opened their own real estate company in Hyde Park in 1960. Mrs. Smith also owned The House of Marjorie, an interior decorating business.

She was a member of the Women's Auxiliary American Legion and Knox Presbyterian Church.

Her husband died in 1994, but Mrs. Smith continued to work in the business well into her 90s.

Survivors include two grandsons and six great-grandchildren.

Calling is 1-3 p.m. Sunday at the Elden A. Good Funeral Home, 2620 Erie Ave. Private services will be held at the convenience of the family.

Memorials: American Cancer Society, 11117 Kenwood Road, Cincinnati, OH 45242-1817.


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