Mary Spencer-Smith

Mary Spencer-Smith ( )

Mary Spencer-Smith, a former sales associate who later worked with autistic children, died Jan. 24 of undetermined causes at her Hampstead home. She was 56.

"We are waiting for the results of an autopsy as to the cause of death," said her husband of 22 years, Charles L. "Chuck" Smith Jr., a field engineer.

The daughter of Willis Spencer, a Gilman School teacher, and Susanne Spencer, a homemaker, Mary Willis Spencer was born in Baltimore and raised in Roland Park.

After graduating from St. Timothy's School in Stevenson, Ms. Spencer-Smith attended St. Mary's College for several years, before earning a bachelor's degree in 1981 from the University of Alabama, where she had majored in English literature with a minor in creative writing.

Ms. Spencer-Smith returned to Baltimore, where she worked in a bookstore and as a sales associate for 13 years at Radio Shack.

She later worked as a special-education assistant at several elementary schools before joining the staff of the Kennedy Krieger High School in North Baltimore in 2006, where she was a personal assistant to the special-education staff.

After injuring her back in 2007, Ms. Spencer-Smith resigned her position at the high school and went on disability.

The former Mount Washington resident, who had moved to Hampstead in 2005, was an inveterate reader and enjoyed writing, especially short stories and poetry, her husband said. She also liked to vacation in Ocean City.

Plans for a memorial service are incomplete.

In addition to her husband, Ms. Spencer-Smith is survived by a son, Michael Smith, 17, a senior at North Carroll High School; a daughter, Elizabeth Smith, 21, of Hampstead; and a brother, Benjamin Spencer of Gray, Tenn.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com