Fay Smith Schefer, 85, passed away peacefully Monday, November 16, in Naples, FL. Fay was born to Frank Smith and Helen (Hallett) Smith in Riverhead, NY, the youngest of three children. She attended The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and graduated in 1956 with a BA degree. While at W&M, she joined the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and was an active, life-long member. Fay is survived by her husband of 63 years, Ed; three sons: Francis, Lee, and Charles; three daughters-in-law: Lisa, Alison, and Cara; and seven grandchildren: Gillian (and her husband, Wook), Ryan, Zachary (and his wife, Tiffany), Daniel, Joseph, Thomas, and John.
Throughout her life, Fay demonstrated a passion for community service and helping others less fortunate than herself. Immediately following college, she worked as a social worker at the Suffolk County Welfare Department on Long Island. After getting married, she and Ed eventually settled in Westfield, NJ in 1961. During her 27 years in Westfield, Fay was active in many volunteer organizations, such as the Westfield Service League, donating her time and energy to improve the community where she raised her family. She could often be found volunteering in the Thrift Shop, attending a Parent Teacher Association meeting, or shuttling her sons to their many games and practices. When she and Ed moved to Naples, FL in 1997, she redirected her energies to supporting local charities including Habitat for Humanity of Collier County and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
When not volunteering her time, Fay enjoyed tending to her garden, reading the latest best sellers (from the library, of course), working on the New York Times crossword puzzle, and especially playing golf. She picked up golf at age 46 and enjoyed playing the game into her late sixties. Although she started playing the game late in life, Fay quickly became a fixture at Echo Lake Country Club in Westfield where she developed life-long friendships and was a highly sought-after playing partner for her friendly disposition and positive attitude. When spending winters in Florida, she played at Turtle Creek Country Club in Tequesta, FL where she carded her first and only hole-in-one. Golf served as an inspiration for many of Fay’s travels including attending the Ryder Cup in Spain, going to several U.S. Opens, and playing at iconic locations such as Pebble Beach. She played her last rounds of golf as a member of Royal Poinciana Golf Club in Naples. When her playing days ended prematurely due to health issues, Fay could still be found watching golf on Sunday afternoon with her husband rooting on her favorite players.
Fay lived her life with dignity, grace, and class. She always had a friendly smile and left a positive impression on everyone she met. She lovingly passed these qualities along to her children and grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Habitat for Humanity of Collier County (www.habitatcollier.org).