Margarete Gertrud Smith (nee Bartenstein)

September 4, 1934 to November 2, 2020


With sadness and gratitude for her life and love we announce the passing of Margarete Gertrud Smith (nee Bartenstein), age 86, in St. John’s on Monday, November 2, 2020. She is predeceased by her husband Frank, parents Johann and Sofia, sisters Hilde, Maria, Lydia, and Frieda, and brothers Paul and Heinrich. Mourning her are her children Arthur (Shelly) and Sara (Paul), grandchildren Benjamin (Andressa), Elizabeth, Joshua, Russell, Hazel, and Ezekiel, her brother Martin (Ursula), nieces and nephews, and her many friends.

Born in Sulzdorf an der Lederhecke, Bavaria, Germany, she attended the University of London where she earned a degree in French studies, later receiving a PhD from the same institution. She married and moved with Frank, first briefly to Louisiana, then to St. John’s where they made a home for over 50 years and lovingly raised their children. She taught for about 30 years in the French department at MUN, and always enjoyed seeing her former students and colleagues in later years. She shared a love of gardening with her husband and collected and tended a variety of beautiful flowers and other plants, including vegetables and berries that fed the family for much of the year.

After her husband’s passing in 2018 Margarete remained in the family home, with regular visits from children and grandchildren. The family greatly appreciates so many friends and neighbours who helped her during this time, with special thanks to Christina and Darryl. Her declining health brought her to the Health Sciences Centre, and we thank the staff there for tending to her and keeping her comfortable during these last few weeks. Following her wishes there will be no funeral service.


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Thank you for your e-mail telling us the sad news about your Mother’s passing.
Frank and Margareta came to Newfoundland the year before we did, and we have been good friends ever since. We have not been back to St. John’s very often since we retired, but we kept in contact. On our visit four or five years go, we had a. lovely dinner together, and Margareta and I had the opportunity to talk on the phone until recently. Should we visit St. John’s again, it will not be the same without Margareta and Frank.
Please accept our sincere condolences.
Sincerely, John and Joan

Sara and Arthur,
Belated condolences on your mother’s passing..
With Frank and Margarete’s passing , a chapter in St. John’s history and my own fond memories of them sadly has come to an end.
They were both unforgettable individuals and I will always cherish my memories of them both.
Paris Georghiou

Frank and Margarete arrived in John’s about the same time as David and I, 1in the fall of 1965. Our children were about two years younger than theirs, a boy and a girl. One year when the children were all quite young Marguerite invited us for Christmas dinner. It was a feast I’ll never forget, combining the best of English and German holiday fare and finishing off with strawberries from their garden individually frozen the previous summer. No imported strawberries ever tasted so good. Thanks to both of you for your generosity over the years.

Dear Sara and Arthur,

My deepest condolences on the passing of your mother. She was so kind and generous. My family will definitely miss her friendship.

My deepest condolences to Sarah and Arthur (and all their family) after the passing of their mother, a close friend and colleague of mine for many years at the university. I shall always remember Margarete’s intelligence, exacting standards, wonderful energy, and great kindness: her many friends – and generations of students – all benefitted, and now share in your loss.

My sincerest condolences, Sarah and Arthur. Dear memories are associated with the friendship that existed between our families going back more than fifty years.

We will forever cherish the many memories of your mother. Both your parents were always an inspiration to us. They will be sadly missed.
M. & D.B.

Dear Sarah & Arthur: We were so sorry to learn about your mother’s departure. Our heart felt condolences. Ursula & Hugh Sampath

Dear Sarah and Arthur.,
We were so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing..We fondly remember the Christmas and New Year festivities hosted by your parents,,when we were all newcomers to Memorial University. Her commitment to her students and to Memorial set an example for all of us who were juggling professional and personal life, at that time. .Her humour, determination and high standards in teaching and in life was inspiring.

Sincere condolences. from Annette and Michael Staveley.

Dear Arthur and Sarah,
Your mother was a kind-hearted person; I’m very sorry for your loss.

To Arthur and Sarah and your families:
We’re very sorry to learn of your Mom’s passing. We have known Margarete (and Frank) since our MUN days in the 70’s. We kept in touch ever since, usually bumping into each other in the Square, or elsewhere in St. John’s, when we’d catch up on life. Over the years, Margarete frequently reminded us that she was never exactly fond of our Newfoundland climate, but she persevered all the same, evident by the success of her and Frank’s garden. We’ll miss her and are sad that they are now both gone – we’ll always cherish their memories. Our sincere condolences on your loss.

Our sympathy to Sara and Arthur and families at this sad time. I’ve know Margarete for so many years, first through WAMUN and later the Wild Flower Society. She was a lovely person to be with. We last saw her at the dedication of Franks’s bench at the Botanical Garden. May the good memories sustain you all.

I had the pleasure of meeting this lady at her banking business in Churchill Square. She was a beautiful witty lady. Always had a smile. A pleasure to serve her. RIP Margarete. Condolences to her family.

I had the pleasure of cutting Margarettas hair for many years.Always loved our chats and her giggle.
Sweetest lady.RIP

Dear Arthur,
My family and I send our condolences to you and your family. May peace be with you during this difficult time. 🕊

Regina Slider

Dear Arthur — so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Sending peace and love to you and your family.



I am so sorry for your loss. Frau Smith was a great lecturer at MUN . She taught me German. Always delightful, smiling and whitty. The last time I saw her was at Frank’s park bench dedication and reception at the Botanical Garden, in 2018. Always pleasant. I have he picture of her and me sitting on the bench. She was my favorite German proff.. She is now reunited with her much beloved Frank. God speed ,Frau Smith.

She was a wonderful neighbour. I can’t believe I won’t see her in her garden, or on her way to Churchill Square. Catherine and I will miss her dearly.