Carolyn A. Smeal, a retired nurse and former president of the board of Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara, died Thursday after a lengthy illness. She was 76.
Born in Guilford, she moved to Niagara Falls as a child and attended LaSalle Junior and Senior high schools. She began her nursing career at age 15 as a nurse's aide at what was then St. Mary's Hospital. She entered nurse's training at Millard Fillmore Hospital in Buffalo, became a registered nurse in 1950 and began working at Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital in the early 1950s. She got her bachelor's degree in nursing at the University at Buffalo in the late 1960s.
Mrs. Smeal worked as an emergency, surgical, maternity and floor nurse in a career that included DeGraff Memorial Hospital in North Tonawanda, the Niagara Falls School District and what is now Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, retiring in 1995 as a nurse with the Niagara County Health Department.
She was an avid community supporter, committed to Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara. She served on the organization's board of directors, including a stint as president, since the organization's inception in the 1960s. She was a member of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority, several nursing organizations, John Maroon's bowling league for the mentally challenged and her high school reunion committee.
Her husband of 48 years, William C., died in 1997.
She is survived by two sons, Dale R. and William; a daughter, Sandra I. Barlow; and a sister, Charlene Whitman.
A service will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in M.J. Colucci & Son Niagara Funeral Chapel, 2730 Military Road, Town of Niagara, following calling hours that run from 3 to 7:30 p.m.