March 29, 1920 - April 13, 2020
Highland Falls, NY
Snowdrop Ranaldson was born on March 29, 1920 in Tunnell Springs, Alabama. She was the fourth child and first daughter of Peter and Mary Etta Ranaldson, and was ultimately one of eleven children. She grew up in Alabama, and in 1940, Snowdrop relocated to West Point New York for employment.
During this time she met a handsome young Buffalo soldier named Edward Smith and they married in 1942. They made their home at West Point, and had three daughters, Mary, Jacqueline and Edweana. Together they built a military life.
As a young military wife and mother, Snowdrop began her life of community service. One of her first volunteer commitments was as a “Gray Lady” at the West Point Hospital and as a Red Cross Volunteer. She was an active member of the NCO Wives Club at West Point and served as President from 1957 to 1958. When the Army sent Edward to Korea, Snowdrop stayed behind in Highland Falls and raised the family alone until he returned. She did what countless other military families do and have done in service to our country.
When the Army sent Edward to France, the family went with him. Far away from home, Snowdrop again found herself volunteering with the Red Cross and at the small dispensary on the Post. Additionally she was a Girl Scout Leader, taught Vacation Bible School and volunteered with the AYA American Youth Activities.
When the family returned to the United States, Snowdrop sought employment outside the home at Deborah Hospital and St. Francis Hospital in Trenton, NJ. She loved doing work that helped other people.
In 1966 Edward Smith retired from the Army after more than 30 years of military service and the family settled in Highland Falls. Shortly after their return to the Hudson Valley, Snowdrop began her career with New York State as a Mental Hygiene Therapy Aide at Letchworth Village, working with residents who were mentally and or developmentally challenged. She found this work very rewarding and retired in 1987 with over 20 years of service.
Snowdrop continued to volunteer in the community. She was an active EMT/first responder with the Town of Highlands Volunteer Ambulance Corps for over 21 years and then served on the board of directors.
She joined the O’Connor Doyle Unit 633 of the American Legion Auxiliary in 1974 and served as President, Treasurer and Membership Chairman, and everyone in the area remembers her unfailing dedication as the Poppy Chairman! Additionally, she served as President of the Orange County American Legion Auxiliary.
Mrs. Smith began volunteering at The Castle Point VA Campus in November 1983 and amassed over 21,000 volunteer hours! Along with members from the Orange and Dutchess County American Legion Auxiliary, they started the coffee cart at Castle Point providing refreshments to the Veterans and their families. She brought many smiles to the Veterans that she greeted as she also served as an Ambassador. She found this every satisfying and enjoyable.
Mrs. Smith was a faithful member of the Church of the Holy Innocents and served as the treasurer for over ten years. She also served on the Vestry and on the Altar Guild.
She was an active member and Past President of the Highland Falls Senior Citizens Group, Life member of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW, Past President of the 5th District Ambulance and Rescue Association of New York State and was a proud member of the Buffalo Soldiers Association of West Point.
Mrs. Smith was deeply loved and cherished by her community and received many honors and accolades including Citizen of the Year in 1998, Outstanding Citizens Award in 2003, Outstanding Citizen in 2008 and numerous awards, proclamations and commendations from local and state representatives. In 2019 she was recognized by NYS Assemblyman Colin Schmitt as one of the Women of Distinction for the many positive ways in which she impacted the Hudson Valley community.
Mrs. Smith is survived by two daughters, Jacqueline E. Jackson of Litchfield Park, AZ; Edweana Aiken and husband Eugene Aiken, Jr. of Hopewell Junction, NY; sister Mary Etta Hicks and husband Fred Hicks of Pensacola, Fl. She is survived by grandchildren Tyrone Jomo Crabb & wife Erika in Burke, VA; Hudson Joda Crabb & wife Monique in Virginia Beach, VA; Jason Jackson & wife Bernice in Atlanta, GA; Jonathan Jackson & wife Jennifer in Peoria, AZ; Eugene L. Aiken, III, in Brooklyn, NY and Amanda L. Aiken in New Orleans, LA. She is also survived by great-grandchildren Briana Crabb Augenrich & husband Dylan; Tyrone B. Crabb,
Jada Jackson, Emmary Crabb, Jamie Ty Crabb, Jamison Jackson and Julian Jackson, and many, nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her parents, husband Edward Smith, daughter The Honorable Mary L. Crabb former Mayor of Newburgh, NY & her husband The Honorable Tyrone H. Crabb; granddaughter Jennifer Jackson and son-in-law Alexander Jackson. She was predeceased by all of her siblings except one.
On the occasion of her 90th birthday, the family and friends of Snowdrop Smith established The Snowdrop Smith Community Service Award which was awarded annually to students in the Highland Falls community to promote and encourage them to make volunteerism and community service a part of their lives. To date – awards have been given to over 30 young people in the community.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to The Snowdrop Smith Community Service Award Make checks payable to: Edweana Aiken, 9 Shady Brook Lane, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533 and indicate Snowdrop Smith Community Service Award on the memo line. Donations may also be made to The Church of the Holy Innocents, PO Box 116, Highland Falls, NY 10928.
On Monday April 13, 2020, at age 100, Snowdrop transitioned from this earthly life to life everlasting. She will be laid to rest with her beloved husband Edward Smith in the West Point Cemetery on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.