Hope Smith, age 98, of Santa Barbara, CA, passed away on February 18, 2022, at Casa St. James in Santa Barbara, with her daughter, Lynn Peters, by her bedside. Hope was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2012.
Hope was born Constance Marjorie Hope Fuller in Southborough, England, second oldest of four children of Dr. Ashbury Fuller and Doris Mary Fitch. Dr. Fuller was house surgeon at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London before starting his own practice in Southborough. Hope recalls growing up with annual seaside holidays, and her father running his “surgery” (consulting room, dispensary and waiting room) out of their Victorian house.
Hope traveled abroad to France in her youth, but was called home August 25th, 1939, because war with Germany was declared on September 3, 1939. The family later moved to Croydon, south of London, where Hope began courses at Secretarial College. In 1943 she qualified for the Women’s technical service register, and became a draughtswoman at the wartime “radar research station” in Malvern, Worcestershire, part of the Ministry of Aircraft Production. She made detailed assembly drawings for prototype radar equipment.
In 1946 and peacetime, Hope trained at the London School of Steno-typing and was employed as a verbatim reporter/demonstrator. She enjoyed travel to Paris and Denmark, cycling through Denmark and staying at youth hostels. Next, Hope was employed by Krishnamurti Writings as a reporter/stenographer and ran the London branch office. Work took her to Belgium, Germany, Italy, Amsterdam and other parts of Europe. Several years later she headed to their head office in Ojai, California, editing manuscripts and handling mail order book sales.
Arriving in 1956 to Ojai, California, Hope was a lover of dance since her youth, and was soon introduced to international folk dancing at the Ojai Art Center. It is here she met her future husband, Sydney Smith, also an enthusiastic folk dancer and working in Ventura’s social welfare department.
Sydney and Hope married February 7, 1959, at the Santa Barbara courthouse. Their education desires soon took them to UCLA, San Jose State University, and Syracuse University, with Hope earning her Masters Degree in Library Science. Returning to Santa Barbara, Hope became a librarian in UCSB library’s catalogue department.
Over the years much travel was done. And ongoing classes included braille transcription and purchase of her own braille writer machine, UCLA extension courses in computer programming and data processing. In 1968 she was promoted to Head of the Order Department of the UCSB library, supervising three other librarians, twenty library assistants, a clerk and student assistant.
In 1970 Hope looked afar and began applying for a volunteer library job with IVS (International Voluntary Service) in Africa. She was accepted in southern Africa, at Swaziland’s only College of Technology, starting early 1971. She studied in England to learn which new books would be appropriate, and by the end of her tenure there, she had amassed 10,000 books for the Swaziland College of Technology, and built up the African Writers Series, plus installed the BBC’s News of the African World for the student community.
In Swaziland she had wonderful work colleagues, met the Prime Minister of Swaziland, traveled to the Republic of South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Botswana, became a “rock hound”, and continued her volunteer braille work at the country’s only school for the blind.
After her 5 yr volunteer assignment, she returned to Santa Barbara and became a librarian at ABC-Clio, a publisher of historical abstracts and American history and life. She continued her rock hound interests with the SB Mineral and Gem Society. She traveled to the Soviet Union, visiting Moscow, Leningrad, and enjoying the Bolshoi Ballet, and visiting Russia. She also traveled to China, visiting many cities and sights.
She enjoyed volunteer work at Santa Barbara’s Braille Institute, performed transcription for the visually handicapped, became a volunteer monitor for the Recording for the Blind, and studied Esperanto, the international second language. She received many awards for various news bulletins created during her work and hobby pursuits.
At age 60 Hope became an avid traveler with Elderhostel, enjoying 15 trips to various locations around the world, Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and many US locations. In 1987 she began Scottish Country Dancing and joined the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. She was also an enthusiastic square dancer.
In 1988, at 65 y/old, she retired from ABC-Clio and soon became an avid country line dancer, teaching line dance at the local Goleta Valley Community Center and various assisted-living residences such as Maravilla in Santa Barbara.
In 1993 her biological daughter, Lynn, whom she had given up at birth, contacted her. Sydney, Hope, Lynn and Scott, her younger brother whom they had also given up, had an amazing reunion and continued in relationship for many years. In 1994 Hope began applying for US citizenship, deciding to stay permanently in the US now that she knew her two children were here.
She took trips with her daughter, to Hawaii, and a cruise to the British Virgin Islands. By late December she became a U.S. citizen with her husband Sydney and her son Scott in attendance. A trip was also made with their daughter to England to meet the children of Hope’s three siblings, who still resided in England. They toured a good portion of England and saw many sights from Hope’s youth and war time work.
The subsequent years were filled with more trips, more volunteer work, and relaxing as she grew older. In 2010-11, Hope in her late 80’s, began noticing her memory was declining. Volunteer work and teaching her dance class became difficult. MRI testing revealed the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease. She remained at home as long as possible, but needing additional care, was moved to Oak Cottage Memory Care of SB for several years. She was moved again for more individual care to Casa St. James, also in SB, a much smaller and more home-like community.
Lynn, living in Berkeley, CA, visited Hope monthly during her years of dementia and was able to be with her for the last week of her life. At that point Hope peacefully and comfortably passed into the arms of God on Friday, February 18, 2022, at age 98.
Hope leaves behind her daughter and son-in-law, Lynn and Edward Peters of Berkeley, CA; her son Scott Hausrath of Algona, Washington; and her niece Rosemary Wilcox, nephews Selwyn and Martin Lloyd, all of England.
We have tremendous gratitude for all those who helped Hope in her last years, including Oak Cottage Memory Care, Brightstar of Santa Barbara, Casa St. James, Central Coast Hospice and so many more individuals. May God bless you all abundantly for helping Hope in so many ways.
Please see https://mcdermottcrockett.com/tribute/details/262494/Constance-Smith/obituary.html#tribute-start for a more detailed biography of Hope’s life.