Joan Elizabeth (Downes) Smith

August 3, 1930 ~ January 22, 2020 (age 89)


Joan Elizabeth Smith of Newburgh, NY, passed away Wednesday, January 22, 2020, in Newburgh.  She was 89. 

The daughter of the late Lester and Vera Fanning Downes, she was born August 03, 1930 in Providence, Rhode Island.

Joan was a retired telephone attendant for American Alarm.

Second to the love of her family was her love of horses which started at age 14.  She would scramble out of bed at 5:30 am to get to the track to hitch up the sulky and drive before school. After school, back to the track to clean brush and care for the horses. At age 16 she started racing in the matinees. Once married, her and her husband Earle Smith owned, trained and raced horses. The one horse she trained by herself, Meadow Leah won 14 races. At that time The US  Trotting Association was not giving out racing licenses to women. She’d say, “If I can’t drive winners, I can still train them”...A woman ahead of her time! Joan was also an avid tennis player, having played for many years with her sister at Orange Hollow.

She was the widow of Earle H. Smith.

Survivors include her daughter Gail F. Smith of Tupper Lake, daughter Laurie A. Garcia of Las Vegas, NV, son Earle H. Smith Jr. & Kathleen of Wallkill, son Gary B. Smith & Joan of Pine Bush, 10 Grandchildren, sister Shirley Smith of Newburgh.

Visitation will be Saturday, January 25, 2020 from 9-10:30am at Millspaugh Funeral Home, 22 Bank St.Walden, NY.

A funeral service will follow at 10:30 at the funeral home. Rev. James VanHouten will officiate.

Burial will be in Wallkill Valley Cemetery in Walden, NY.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Alzheimers Association, Hudson Valley Chapter, 2649 South Road, #101, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601-4060.

To send flowers to Joan's family, please visit our floral section.


January 25, 2020

9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Millspaugh Funeral Directors
22 Bank Street
Walden, NY 12586

Funeral Service
January 25, 2020

10:30 AM
Millspaugh Funeral Directors
22 Bank Street
Walden, NY 12586


Alzheimer's Association, Hudson Valley Chapter
2649 South Road, #101, Poughkeepsie NY 12601

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