Maureen Jane Smith

January 14, 2017

Maureen O’Brien Smith died January 14, 2017 of complications from COPD. She was born April 4, 1937 in Pawtucket, R.I.  She was the daughter of the late Dr. John and Josephine O'Brien and the widow of the late Thomas Donald Smith.  She graduated from Elmhurst Academy and attended Boston College. 

Maureen and Donnie moved to Charlotte 50 years ago to raise their family.  Maureen is survived by her children, Thomas D. Smith Jr., Colleen Smith Turner and her husband, Steven, Melissa Smith Schoenhoff and Sean Smith and his wife, Andrea. She leaves behind 10 treasured grandchildren: Justin, Ellie and Isabelle Smith, John and Michael Turner, Henry and Eliot Schoenhoff, Crane, Ryan and Olivia Smith. She is survived by her brothers John and Thomas O'Brien and many nieces and nephews, grand nieces & nephews who cherished her dearly.  She was preceded in death by her sister Gail O'Brien Holland, and her brother Kevin Daniel O'Brien. 

Maureen had many lasting friendships established in childhood and in her years in Charlotte.   After the premature death of her husband and despite being a very busy working mother, she always had time for her friends.  She was an active parishioner of St. Gabriel Catholic Church. In years later, she was a dedicated volunteer at the YMCA, Crisis Assistance Ministry and Urban Ministries.

Maureen was sustained through difficult times by her faith. Her greatest pride was in her children and the lives and families they created.  Her influence and constant presence helped to shape her grandchildren’s lives.  Her legacy is that she was the central figure for the entire family.  

The family gratefully acknowledges the attentive professional and loving care of H3 Healthcare, specifically Dr. Josh Shoemake, Dr. Jane Harrell and Tracey Ellington, RN. A visitation will be held from 4:30-6:00 pm on Friday, January 20 at St. Gabriel Catholic Church followed by a mass of Christian burial at 6:00. 

In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to Charlotte Catholic High School 7702 Pineville-Matthews Road 28226, or Urban Ministries, 945 North College Street 28206.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Services, 1321 Berkeley Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28204. (704) 641-7606. Online condolences at

Share your memories & condolences


  • David Turner

    When I came home for the Holidays, Maureen would always greet me with a big hug and her beautiful smile. Her Christmas parties were great times that I will always reminisce of fondly.

  • Ted Mulvaney

    Mrs. Smith was a calm voice of reason, support, and care -- when such things were in high demand back in my high school years. My heart goes out to all of her children and grandchildren, especially Sean and Andrea. God bless.

  • Christopher Kouri

    Mama Smith was such a force and encouraging presence, especially during my high school and college years, and I am so grateful for her in my life. I observed her to always be a loving, supportive mother to her children -- and she had plenty left over to give to their friends as well, for which I was a lucky beneficiary. I will always remember her values, strength, her beautiful smile and positive way -- and will pull on that memory as a guide in tough times myself. My love and condolences to Sean, his siblings and all the family. CK

  • Kathryn Raby

    Maureen was my favorite person to work with at Omni Architecture.
    I spoke with her on an almost daily basis from 1988-1995 from my outpost at Omni Greensboro. Maureen went out of her way to make me feel a part of the home office in Charlotte. She truly cared about each employee as a person. Plus she was very good at her job, which is not easy when you are dealing with a bunch of creative designer and architect types. She pretty much ran the office, but we all thought of her as more of a surrogate mom than an office manager.
    My condolences to her beloved children and all of their families during this difficult time. I know that her sweet soul is in heaven now and she is at peace with all the saints. She truly was one of them. . .even here on earth, and my life is better because I knew her.

  • Hank Bradley

    What a joy and honor it has been to know “Mo” and to have the privilege of enjoying our grandchildren together. She was a treasured lady and loved by everyone who knew her. Her loss is already being felt.

    We love you.
    God Bless,
    Hank Bradley and Family