FARMINGTON — Elizabeth Smith Marks, professor emeritus of the University of Maine at Farmington, passed away on Aug. 2. The families’ heartfelt thanks go out to Darlene Mooar and the staff of The Pierce House in Farmington for the love, support and remarkable care they showed Elizabeth over the past weeks.

She was born Feb. 17, 1932, in Presque Isle, the daughter of Omar H. and Aurelia (Graham) Smith. Her siblings were Ruth E. and Roland M. Smith, twins. She always expressed love for her family farm and lasting friendships in Aroostook County.

A graduate of Presque Isle High School, she earned her bachelor’s degree in home economics education from Farmington State Teacher’s College. While at Farmington, she met and married her husband, Kenneth E. Marks, in 1951. Upon graduation in 1953, she and her husband returned to Presque Isle, where she taught home economics at Presque Isle High School and was a substitute teacher after her children were born.

In 1966, the Marks family moved to Farmington, and Elizabeth continued her education, earning her master’s degree with an emphasis in family life education from the University of Maine at Orono in 1968 and her doctorate in education with an emphasis in family studies from the Pennsylvania State University in 1977.

She was on the faculty at the University of Maine at Farmington from 1968 to 1992. During her tenure, she served as department chair of Home Economics and the Department of Human, Health and Family Studies. She taught classes in family studies and education and supervised student teachers and interns in the Family Studies Program. She was an adjunct professor at the University of Southern Maine, teaching graduate courses in home economics education. She was designated professor emeritus upon her retirement from UMF in 1992. She served as president of the Maine Home Economics Association and was a member of the American Association of Consumer and Family Science.

Following retirement, she and her husband traveled with longtime friends, Verne and Lora Byers. Other activities included visits to family, enjoying the visits of family and friends at the Marks’ home at Clearwater Lake, Industry, and the wonderful friendship she shared with her longtime lakeside neighbor, Carolyn Parr.

She always considered the residents, staff and trustees at The Pierce House her second family. She became a member of the board of trustees in 1985 and had served as president of the board since 1990. During that time, the building was expanded to the current 16-bed residential care facility.

In addition, she served as co-chair of the UMF Libraries Fund Drive that resulted in renovations to the Cutler Library and the Mantor Library. She was later awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Maine at Farmington in 1997. She has continued to be an active member of the Alumni Association at UMF.

At the Old South Congregational Church, she served as moderator and president of the Women’s Fellowship, helped initiate the Care Network and was especially interested in the christian education activities for children and youth.

In July 2009, on behalf of the 124th Legislature and the people of the state of Maine, Elizabeth was recognized by the Senate and House of Representatives with a distinguished citizen award for her service to the community and The Pierce House.

She is survived by a son, Kenneth I. Marks and his wife, Sharon E. Marks, of Cumberland; a daughter, Dianne Marks Griggs and her husband, Kelly C. Griggs, of Norwich, Vt. She felt great pride for her grandchildren, Kristen E. Marks, Joshua O. Marks, Benjamin G. Griggs and Adam C. Griggs. She is also survived by her sister, Ruth Pike and her husband, Gordon, of Haymarket, Va.; brothers-in-law, Roger Marks and Beryl Leach; nieces, Donna, Anne, Janet, Sandra, Lisa, Laurie, Rebecca and Carrie; and nephews, R. Michael and Andrew.

She was predeceased by her husband, Kenneth E. Marks, who died June 1, 2004; a brother, Roland M. Smith; and a nephew, Donald Pike.

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