Pauline Smith, former Howell councilwoman, passes away at 77

HOWELL – Pauline M. Smith, 77, a former member of the Howell Township Council, died on Nov. 2 at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township.

Smith was well known in Howell for decades as a staunch advocate for preserving open space and farmland, protecting the township’s environment and ensuring the quality of life for the community’s residents.

She served on the Township Council for more than 10 ten years and on the Planning Board for more than 20 years.

During the Nov. 10 meeting of the Township Council, Mayor Theresa Berger asked residents to keep Smith in their prayers.

Deputy Mayor Evelyn O’Donnell said a service that was held for Smith at St. Catherine of Siena Church, Farmingdale, on Nov. 7 was “lovely.”

“It was really very nice, well attended and I know the Smith family is very happy for everything she did for the Township Council, the Howell Green Team and the Environmental Commission.

“The other night at a Planning Board meeting, one of the professionals came in and made note of how careful (Smith) was with the environmental sensitivity of any project that came before the board.

“I thought it was so appropriate that he would mention that she carried her love of Howell throughout, even (development) applications,” O’Donnell said.

Councilman Thomas Russo said, “I remember when I first got involved going to council meetings, watching Pauline up there yelling at everybody on the dais. That was always very interesting and she was truly passionate about where she stood on the issues. I send my deepest condolences to the family.”

According to an obituary posted online by the Higgins Memorial Home, Freehold Borough, Smith was born in Long Branch and raised in Atlantic Township (now Colts Neck).

She was a 1962 graduate of Freehold Regional High School, Freehold Borough, and later attended college for municipal government and planning certifications.

Smith moved to Howell upon her marriage to Donald F. Smith in November 1963 and remained a resident of the community for 57 years.

She worked as a secretary at McGraw-Hill, New York, and as a teacher’s aide. She volunteered in the community and at her church.

Smith was predeceased by her husband, Donald; her son, Paul John; her parents, Joseph J. and Stella Millen Cicalese; her brother, Joseph Cicalese Jr.; and a sister, Stella.

Surviving are a son, Donald F. Smith Jr.; brothers, Tony Cicalese, Nick Cicalese and his wife, Carol, Alex Cicalese, and Louie Cicalese and his wife, Connie; sisters, Anna Tompkins, Rose Mary Baehny and Betty Williams; a sister-in-law, Marjorie Caffrey; many nieces and nephews, including her goddaughter Jill Skelding; numerous cousins, most notably Veronica Cicalese. She is also survived by Kim Rufano, who she helped raise.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Catherine of Siena Church, Farmingdale. Interment was at St. Rose of Lima Cemetery, Freehold Township.