Without any perceptible reason, our Christmas tree tipped over in the living room, spilling water and ornaments over the floor. The only casualty was one ornament. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just any ornament, but one hand-painted by my great-aunt, Marguerite Flint-Smith.
Decorating the tree a few days earlier, I admired her intricately painted ornaments and it occurred to me that I should photograph these ornaments, in case they might ever break. Retrieving the shattered pieces out of the kitchen garbage, I berated myself for risking these unique, precious ornaments, our family history, and my only physical remembrance of my great-aunt.
Painting on delicate glass, salvaged wood, and tree fungus, she gave or sold her art to family and friends – would Maggie have felt as distressed as me on the transience of her art? However, I carefully, painstakingly glued it back together, using a gold ornament of a similar size as a support. Working with a fine-tipped paint brush, I felt a connection with someone I could barely remember: an earthy, independent, artistic, Missourian who taught me how to pan for gold during our one family reunion in 1992.
To preserve her memory and her work, I wanted to share her obituary (which I couldn’t find online) and some samples of her work. She was a very prolific artist, and I hope that her work lives on in our family and beyond. If you happen to have any artwork of hers and would like to share a picture, please get in touch!
Marguerite Ruth Flint-Smith (July 28, 1932 – May 1, 1999): Lovingly known as “Maggie Flint” by her family and many dear friends. … She was preceded in death by her parents Cora Marie and Roscoe “Flint” Flint-Smith. “Maggie” loved life and left many wonderful memories to all that knew her. She spent her early life in St. Louis, Webster Groves, High Ridge/House Springs. She taught Physical Education in California and Oregon, then became a Librarian. Her many talents included painting, crafts and writing poetry. After retirement she enjoyed traveling, gold mining, and became a very talented wood carver, specializing in bears. She moved from Oregon to Apache Junction, AZ, where she continued to contribute her many talents until the time of her death.