DURHAM – Beverly Mary LaPointe Smolka, age 93, died on June 30, 2019. She was born in Potsdam, NY on January 30, 1926 to the late Francis LaPointe and Mary Endersbee LaPointe.
Beverly loved her family and was especially devoted to her grandsons, James and Spencer. As a young woman, she dreamt of studying art and fashion but the hardships of the Great Depression and family tragedy during World War II set her on a different path in life. Nonetheless, her love of art and her sense of style remained strong, as well of her love of wearing purple and enjoying fine chocolates and raspberries. Rules to live by: a lady never leaves the house without her lipstick and it is important to accessorize. Another caveat: black is the best color for a car because it is suitable for all occasions – whether it’s a wedding or a funeral.
Still reading the daily New York Times well into her nineties, Beverly studied the Arts and Style section and avidly watched news. She always voted and accompanied Spencer the first time he cast a ballot. Bowling was her favorite pastime for many years and watching televised soccer and bowling became her favorite activity in her final months. Her son Jim, her daughter Carol, and her favorite son-in-law Jeff all went to UNC, thus making Carolina Blue her second favorite color.
A strong willed woman, after George died, Beverly learned to live on her own with her loyal companion Cosmo together in her home until the very end. She liked her independence but thrived with the love of her family and special friends. The family would like to thank her friends Lynn Neal, Debbie Strickland, Lynn Gullie, Shelba Johnson, Yonica Rodio and her wonderful Fyzical community, Duke Hospice, and her final caregivers Felicia Hunt and Danielle Bullard. Additionally, the family thanks Father Mario Gomez for providing her spiritual comfort.
Beverly is survived by her daughter Carol Terry and husband Jeff; daughter-in-law Maureen Murphy-Smolka; two grandchildren, James Smolka and his partner Andrea Bell, Spencer Terry and wife Ginevra, as well as her cat Cosmo. Beverly was preceded in death by her loving husband, George Smolka, her son James “Jim” Smolka, sister Frances Badger, brothers Jack and Richard LaPointe.
A Mass of Christian burial will be offered 10 a.m. Friday, July 5, 2019 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church with Fr. Mario Gomez, OFM, presiding. A reception in the gathering space will be held immediately after mass from 11:00-11:45 p.m., and then burial will follow in St. Matthew Catholic Cemetery, Durham, NC.
In addition to flowers, memorials may be made to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 810 W. Chapel Hill St., Durham, NC 27701