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Alys Freer Smith of Kenmore, an internationally known floral designer, died Wednesday (Sept. 19, 2001) in Erie County Medical Center after a brief illness. She was 96.

Born in Buffalo as Alys Williams, Mrs. Smith was raised on the West Side before moving to Amherst and later to Kenmore.

A well-known floral arranger specializing in the Japanese art of ikebana design, she studied in Japan at the Ohara School of Ikebana and later founded the school's Buffalo chapter. She gave lectures and demonstrations in the art all over the country and abroad.

A committee member with the American Cancer Society, Mrs. Smith came up with the idea of selling daffodils as a fund-raiser in 1970. The "Daffodil Days" fund-raising tradition has since continued as an annual event.

Mrs. Smith was past president of Toby's Garden Club and the Home Bureau of Erie County. She was a master flower show judge for the National Council of Garden Clubs, a New York State horticultural judge and a certified landscape design critic.

She also was a member of the former Grace Episcopal Church on Lafayette Avenue and sang in the choir.

Her husband, Edward Freer Smith, died in 1960.

She is survived by a sister, Mary Gutschow of Las Vegas, Nev.; eight grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. today in St. John's-Grace Episcopal Church, 51 Colonial Circle, Buffalo. Burial will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.

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