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At 100, Maxine Smith has lived an interesting life

By Kay S. Pedrotti Maxine Smith found her way to Barnesville from the Midwest ‘“ Rockford Ill., and Milwaukee, Wisc. ‘“ but she took a detour through the battlefields of France in World War II. She celebrated her 100th birthday on May 19. Her memory for the good things is intact, but some of the worst memories she doesn’t talk about. In the ‘tent hospital’ in Cherbourg, she said, the doctors treated all the wounded, but ‘those who were wounded bad enough went back to the States and those whose wounds were not that bad were sent back to the front.’ She said she joined the U.S. Army because her brothers did, and it was quite an experience for a 23-year-old just out of nursing school. ‘I felt I wanted to be of use,’ said Smith. Her medical group had landed in France just after D-Day. ’When I was in the Army,’ Smith added, ‘some of the girls would talk about how nice the south was, and how warm, so I decided to check it out. In Barnesville I met Mickey Smith, married him and had two boys there.’ She now lives with the youngest, Wallace; Howard Smith is close by in Thomaston. She has five grandchildren and 3 great-grands, with another expected soon. After the war she continued working in the medical profession, studying anesthesiology in Chicago, and later worked in hospitals in Macon and Thomaston. For a while, Maxine stayed at Sunny Grove Assisted Living, until Wallace and family ‘came home from Alaska, settled in Griffin, and asked me to live with them ‘“ I’m very happy here.’ Now she is content to do word puzzles and read large-print books, and just be with family. A lifelong Methodist, she likes to encourage people with kindness. And, she doesn’t discuss politics. Her advice to younger generations is ‘Stay with it. Don’t give up your dreams.’’¨Smith had warned the reporter that she was ‘not much of a conversationalist,’ but that was found to be very hard to believe.

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