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West Virginia newspaper stalwart Mariwyn Smith dead at 81

THOMAS, W.Va. — Mariwyn Faith McClain Smith, editor of the Parsons Advocate from 1971 to 2004 and a former past president of the West Virginia Press Association, died June 6, 2018.

Mariwyn Smith

Smith, age 81, died June 6th, 2018, at Cortland Acres in Thomas, WV.  She died surrounded by her children.  

Smith and her family were active in the state newspaper industry and the West Virginia Press Association for decades. She served as president of the WVPA in 1993. Her husband, George, served as WVPA president in 1971, and her father, Kenneth McClain, served as WVPA president in 1959. Mrs. Smith was the first person in the organization’s history to be the third member of one family to hold the office of president.

From her obituary:

Born April 17, 1937, in Morgantown, WV,  Mariwyn was the second of three children of the late R. Kenneth and C. Faith Reynolds McClain of Parsons and Zephyrhills, FL.  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother Dr. Edward F. McClain of Madison, WI, and her husband George A. Smith, Jr. of 57 years.

On June 4, 1960, at Parson Presbyterian Church she was married to George Adrain Smith, Jr., only son of the late George A. and Victoria Crawford Smith of Catskill, NY.  

Survivors include her children Kenneth Edward (wife Bonnie Swyter) of Parsons, WV, Barbara Smith Broaddus Plumley (husband Carl) of Germantown, MD, Faith Smith Robinson (husband Ken) of Enterprise, AL.  Six grandchildren: Sarah Smith Roberts (husband Ryan), Elijah Broaddus (husband Tim Ebron), Elizabeth Smith Dobrinski (husband Alex), Quinn Broaddus, Katelynn Robinson, and Brandy Hipp Nakamura (husband Yoshi); and seven great-grandchildren: Isaac, Owen and Connor Roberts, Yusho, Shoya, and Manna Nakamura, and Lillian Nguyen; a sister Rachel McClain Wright, and a sister-in-law Linda Smith Stewart (husband Jim).

Mariwyn was a 1955 graduate of Parsons High School and a 1959 graduate of Davis & Elkins College. 

In addition to her work at the Parsons Advocate, she was also an officer of McClain Printing Company for many years. 

Mariwyn  was a life-long member of the Parsons Presbyterian Church, where she also served as an elder, pianist and historian.  She was a founding member of the Tucker Community Foundation and board member for many years.  She was the 1989 Tucker County Chamber of Commerce “Tuckineer” (the first woman to be so honored). Between 1992-1993, Mrs. Smith was the president of the WV Press Association and the first person to be the third family member to do so.  She was the author of five books published by McClain Printing Company, which was founded by her father Ken McClain.  She was involved in many local organizations in her community.

She enjoyed writing, sewing, quilting, reading, entertaining, playing the piano, singing, reunions and traveling.

Friends will be received today, Friday, June 8 from 5-8 p.m. at Hinkle Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held, 11 a.m., Saturday, June 9 at the Parsons Presbyterian Church with Rev. Mike Lantz officiating. Interment will follow in the Parsons Cemetery. Hinkle Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.   

Family requests that in lieu of flowers donations may be made to the following:  The Tucker Community Foundation (McClain Fund – for the Five River Public Library), (The Parsons Presbyterian Fund), or (The Director’s General Fund).

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