Memories of Dorothea Helga Smith
  • 96 years old
  • Born on September 13, 1922 in Niederpoyritz, Dresden, Germany.
  • Passed away on December 29, 2018 .

This memorial website has been created to give Helga's friends an opportunity to record their memories of her and the stories that she shared with them. Please feel free to add yours.

Helga Smith (nee Reinhardt) was part of a generation that had a determination, resilience and character that we rarely see any more.

Born in Niederpoyritz, just outside Dresden in eastern Germany to an English mother and German father. Her sisters were Erica, Sonja and Wilma. She also had a brother who died in childhood. Wife of Ronnie Smith and mother of Andy, Billy and Anthony. She is survived by her 3 sons, 4 granddaughters, 6 grandsons and 2 great grandchildren.

In 1947 Helga moved to England to marry Ronnie Smith. As a married couple, they settled in his home town of Stockton-on-Tees. Subsequently, the couple were blessed with 2 sons, Andrew and William. Sadly, in 1963 Ronnie died and Helga became a single parent.

In 1976, Helga became one of Jehovah's Witnesses. She served faithfully In Stockton Congregation for 42 years.

Helga had an indomitable spirit. When she felt something needed doing, she did it – regardless of health or age. Despite numerous requests to move into sheltered housing or, later on, a care home, she would not be moved. Her desire was to remain at home with her trees, the birds and squirrel in the garden and her cat, until she died. Andy and Anthony are very grateful to Billy for bringing her shopping on a daily basis, allowing her to fulfil her wish. On Saturday 29th December, she was found to have passed away at home, exactly where she would have wanted.

Her sons were, obviously, saddened by her death. Shortly afterwards, Andy, despite not sharing his mother’s beliefs, wrote to Anthony, “I hope her faith supported her ‘til the end.” Well, it absolutely did. Death held no fear or dread for Helga. She knew that Jesus described death as a sleep. Just as Martha said to Jesus about her brother Lazarus, “I know he will rise in the resurrection on the last day,” Helga was absolutely confident that she would awaken in paradise on Earth. Like the Apostle Paul, she could say, “Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?” She can now rest in peace with her future reward secure.

Posted by Julie Copeland on 10th January 2019
My earliest memory of Helga is when I was about 13 or 14 and going to with my family and Helga to visit Anthony at Durham University. We drove up after the ministry one Saturday and Helga assured my dad she knew where we had to go once we had parked the car. Well, we did make it, eventually. Only after we had fought through some shrubbery and walked for what seemed at the time miles along the grassed area at the back of the Halls of Residence with Helga peering through windows on the way! I can still see her in my mind's eye leading the way with her handbag over her arm saying "it's this way...not far now". Over the years I have spent a lot of time with Helga. We have worked together in the ministry many times as we have been in the same group. She was so faithful. Always out, come rain or shine. She was kind and generous to me too. She once made me some multi coloured pot holders for my kitchen. She felt my grey and white kitchen was too plain! She gave me Burdock root to make in to a tea to help my back aches. Her knowledge of plants and herbs was amazing. She regularly brought chocolate to the meetings for our family and I know ours wasn't the only family she did that for. Only a short while ago she brought us some brambles she had picked. Helga was not shy in voicing her opinion and I have been on the sharp end of her tongue on more than one occasion. But, I always knew where I was with Helga and I liked that. I shall miss her. Her chuckle, twinkly eyes and above all her faithful example.
Posted by Harry Stratton on 10th January 2019
Dear old Helga x having spent many journeys down to Brigg with Helga to see the Smith family Robinsons, as a young child all I can remember is her rubbing her painful knee repeatedly, and I mean the whole 2 hour journey there.......and back again! Thinking about this little odd memory of Helga makes me realise that even though In a lot of pain from sitting in the car for such a long time, she still wanted to do it to see her loving family. Putting in the effort she could to see them, despite being in pain. See you soon Helga x

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