Mary Smith given surprise 76th birthday party

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Mary Smith, centered, being escorted in by her granddaughter, Patrice, left, and great granddaughter Kemari. Mrs. Smith had no idea she was walking into a surprise party because in the past, she always told her family she didn’t want a party.

BY JURRY TAALIB-DEEN
Journal Staff Writer

Mary Smith didn’t understand why she had to get dressed up to go see her great grandson play the saxophone.

She also tried to figure out why they were going out to eat first, then to the concert; not to mention why her husband J.B. Smith was in the kitchen eating, if they were about to go out to eat for dinner.

Although filled with questions, Mrs. Smith left her house with her husband, and granddaughter, who is identified as Patrice, unaware she was about to walk into a room filled with people yelling surprise.

When Mrs. Smith walked into the Black Pearl restaurant, 4630 Heatherdowns Blvd, on Saturday April 14, she made a sharp left turn in a room filled with family and friends yelling, “Surprise!” A shocked Mrs. Smith looked around, and instantly started smiling.

“What are all these people doing here,” she would later, tell The Toledo Journal was the first thing that popped into her mind when everyone yelled surprise.

Born April 13, 1942, the retired nurse didn’t expect a surprised party because, “In the past, I always told my family I didn’t want a party,” Mrs. Smith said.

Mary Smith, right, with her granddaughter, Sharonda Galloway, daughter, Andrea Vaughn, back left, and granddaughter Patrice.

Sharonda Galloway, granddaughter to Mrs. Smith, told The Toledo Journal that in order to make the party a true surprise, they couldn’t tell her grandfather, J.B. Smith, out of fear, he might tell his wife.

“My grandmother is an awesome person,” she said. “Having to keep everything secretive was totally worth it,” Ms. Galloway said.

Andrea Vaughn, Mrs. Smith’s only child, said, “My mother’s entire life has always been about helping others; that’s why this party is so special, because it’s about making her smile.”

Ms. Vaughn went on to say that, when she was having her first baby, her mom, Mrs. Smith, was out of town on vacation, but as soon as she found out she was in labor, she instantly cut her vacation short in order to be with her daughter.

Mrs. Smith’s other granddaughter, Patrice, escorted her grandmother to the party. “I haven’t been back to Toledo in quite a while, but helping to celebrate my grandmother’s surprise birthday, was the reason I returned,” she said. “Ever since the first grade, I wanted to be a nurse, just like my grandmother,” Patrice said.

“I have a really great family, and I’m so thankful for this party,” Mrs. Smith said.

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