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Mayme's Story

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Mayme Vacketta Smith, 94, boarded her "Angel Flight" Saturday morning, December 9, 2017, after being another victim of that horrible disease, Dementia.
She was born in Westville, Ill. Mayme was an excellent high school athlete and went on to graduate from the U of Illinois with a Physical Education degree and playing point guard on the women's basketball team.
It was there that she met a young Navy officer, Lt. Joe G. Smith, whom she later married, and enjoyed 50-plus years together. He preceded her in death.
Mayme was a proud Navy officer's wife and loved moving every two to three years (assignment changes), the traveling and all the challenges each new assignment brought. She lobbied for military families wherever they were stationed. While on Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, she taught high school island students through correspondence and ham radio dispatches.
Daughter Sherry was born in Louisville, Ky.; daughter Iolani, while in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
After Navy retirement in 1974, Mayme and Gordon found Merritt Island, Fla., and wanted to live here "forever." Gordon was instrumental in expanding the Chamber to 1,000 new members, while Mayme volunteered with the Red Cross for more than 30 years in the PAFB hospital. Both became very active in the community, and they loved entertaining in their home, which included many astronauts and friends they made throughout the years.
Mayme's PEO Sisters were treasures to her and annual conventions trips were a delight.
Mayme's true love, besides her family, dancing and entertaining was Bingo and her annual trip to Las Vegas, which started on her 75th birthday (gift from Gordon) with her daughters and niece, Bea Davis. For 13 years, as long as she was able to travel, the annual trek to slots, shows and new restaurants became an all-time favorite for all.
Mayme was fortunate to stay living in her home.
Mayme is survived by daughters, Sherry Gaulke (Tom) and Lani McKnight (Charlie); grandson, Brent Gaulke (Charlie); granddaughter, Kelly Gaulke (fiance Bob); great-grandkids Gunner and Logan Gaulke; nieces Bea Davis and Nina Pinzarrone; nephews Bill Dugas and Joe Davis. She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Beatrice Vacketta; Mary Vacketta; brother Ore; sisters Anna and Dorothy; husband Capt. Joe G. Smith; and grandson Adam McKnight.
Published on January 19, 2018
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