Lois Gross Smiley

SMILEY–Lois Gross, 93, of Wellesley MA, died at home on January 2 2019. She is survived by her three grandsons, Jeffrey Higgins, Michael Higgins and Aiden Rogatz, along with nephews, a niece and sons-in-law. Lois was an abstract expressionist painter of exceptional discernment and skill. The vivid, enigmatic prisms of color and light in her oil and pastel landscapes filled our lives with beauty. Born in New York City in 1925, Lois attended Dalton School and received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, where she majored in painting. Beginning in high school, she studied with superb painters including Rufino Tamayo, Vaclav Vytlacil and Kurt Roesch. In the 1970s she was an assistant curator at the Hudson River Museum and won awards for her watercolors, which she also exhibited at the National Academy in NYC. She was a member of the National Art Association and the National Association of Women Artists. Lois moved to Massachusetts in 1991 following the death of her husband, Dr. Douglas Smiley. She exhibited and taught drawing in the Greater Boston area and on Martha’s Vineyard, where for many years she spent wonderful summers overlooking Squibnocket Beach. To Jeffrey, Michael and Aiden, Lois was an ever-attentive, ever- accepting grandmother who listened to all the stories, remembered the details, laughed when she was beaten at cards, supported everyone in their battles, and felt sadness for their sorrows. Lois also took unending delight in her two daughters, Andrea and Laura, whom she loved and cared for until they both died of cancer–Laura first, in 2013, and Andrea in April of last year. Lois herself was brave and beautiful until the very end. We learned so much from her and we will always love her.

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