Cover photo for Mary Jo Ramsey-Smith's Obituary
Mary Jo Ramsey-Smith Profile Photo

Mary Jo Ramsey-Smith

July 6, 1955 — December 24, 2022

Mary Jo Ramsey-Smith

She walks in beauty. Now she has crossed over to the other side, taking with her pieces of our hearts.

Mary Jo Ramsey-Smith was a graceful lady of incomparable talents: A singer, musician, and composer. A filmmaker. A playwright. A creator and producer of stunning theatrical events. A guiding light for aspiring young actors.

Beyond those magical gifts, Mary Jo was a loving wife and passionately devoted mother of two incredible kids and grandmother of four sweet and loving grandkids. She was an adventurous soul, always seeking new knowledge and experiences as she searched for beauty and inspiration in the world, in her friends, and in the written and spoken word.

Mary Jo Ramsey was born July 6, 1955 in Bedford, Indiana to Mildred Charlotte Ramsey and the late Wyman Ramsey, Jr. As the daughter of a Southern Baptist minister, Mary Jo grew up participating in church services and as an adult contributed to churches as a pianist, organist, and vocal performer.

She created the Children’s Theatre Workshop in Staunton and was a founding member of the arts organization ShenanArts. She touched many students through her work in public and private schools. An accomplished operatic singer and actress, Mary Jo graced stages with Theater Wagon, Oak Grove Theater, Waynesboro Players, ShenanArts, The Divine Opera Ensemble, and Early Music Michigan.

On January 5, 1980, Mary Jo and Gary Alan Smith were united in marriage and committed themselves to a lifetime together. Their union was blessed with the births of Noah Devon Ramsey-Smith and Annie Kaitlin Windsong Ramsey-Smith.

Mary Jo is survived by her husband Gary and by Noah and wife Mary Jane Cargullo Almeda (Los Angeles, CA), Annie and husband Lt. Col. (USAF, Ret.) Jon Andrew Pitts and their children Henry, Madeline, Ivy, and Thomas (Goodyear, AZ).

Other survivors include mother Milly (Charlotte, NC); brothers Samuel Theron Ramsey and husband Andre (Vale, NC), Jonathan Wyman Ramsey and wife Vivienne (Gold Coast, Australia), David Brian Ramsey (Charlotte, NC), and brother-in-law Odie W. Smith, Jr. (Ivy, VA).

Also surviving are nieces and nephews Shane and Jenna Smith; Mariah and Daniel Smith; Kari and Carly Smith; Rachel and Samuel Ramsey, Milly Janyne Ramsey-Pelletier; and Frank and Margaux Ramsey.

In addition to her father, Mary Jo was preceded in death by a nephew, Matthew Ryan Smith, brothers-in-law Eddie A. Smith and Rodney E. Smith, and by special friends Marion Stanley Moore and Jeanne Lee.

A Gathering to Honor Mary Jo Ramsey-Smith will be held at Henry Funeral Home at 1030 West Beverley Street in Staunton Friday, December 30th at 3 p.m.

The family extends its sincere appreciation to the staff at the Hospice of the Shenandoah for their tender and compassionate care.

Please do not send flowers. Instead, feel free to make a contribution in Mary Jo’s name to the nonprofit music, art, or theater organization of your choosing.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Jo Ramsey-Smith, please visit our flower store.

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