The Center for Research on Vermont and Vermont Studies
Program joins the University of Vermont (UVM) and wider community in
mourning the loss of UVM College of Arts and Sciences Dean Joan Smith,
who passed away on September 10, 2004. A memorial service was held at UVM
in the Ira Allen Chapel on September 17.
Her obituary follows below. We are posting it on the Center's Web site at
along with UVM Professor Emeritus of English T. Alan Broughton's poem
"The Persistence of Beauty through Loss"
which Dr. Broughton wrote for Joan Smith and read at the memorial
Hartland--Joan M. Smith, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the
University of Vermont (UVM), passed away Friday, Sept. 10, 2004, at her
home in Hartland, with her husband and children at her side.
Joan Smith had an accomplished career in academia, including the past 14
years serving the University of Vermont. She received her Ph.D. in
sociology from NYU in 1970 and subsequently joined the faculty at
Dartmouth College. In 1979 she accepted an appointment at State
University of New York, Binghamton, where she taught sociology and worked
with Immanuel Wallerstein at the Fernand Braudel Center. In 1990 she
accepted a position at the University of Vermont as the first director of
the Women’s Studies Department. In 1995 she was appointed Interim Dean of
the College of Arts and Sciences at UVM, and in 1996 she was appointed
Dean, the position she held until her death. She was the first woman in
UVM history to serve as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, UVM’s
largest academic unit. She will be remembered by the faculty and
administration of UVM as a highly skilled teacher and administrator, with
boundless energy and good humor.
Joan Smith’s academic career specialized in women’s waged and unwaged
labor in the world economy; women’s work and discriminatory labor
structures; and household work. She authored several books and scores of
articles in her field and received many academic honors. A political
activist, she supported a variety of causes in Vermont, particularly
issues confronting low-income single mothers.
She enjoyed gardening, entertaining, and family holidays with her husband
at their home in Hartland. Joan was the center of her large family, who
benefited from her generosity of spirit, keen wit, and her devotion to
family gatherings that always revolved around her exquisite cooking.
Joan Smith was born in Chicago, III. She is survived by her husband,
Vermont Senate President Pro Tem. Peter F. Welch; and her five children
and their spouses, Beth A. Danon of Winooski, Mary P. Kehoe of
Burlington, William V. Kehoe and his wife, Kerstin Cmok, of Burlington,
John A. Kehoe of New York City, Michael Smith-Welch and his wife, Dylan
Conger, of Washington, D.C.; and her four grandchildren, Peter and Libby
Dysart of Burlington and Lucas and Liam Cmok Kehoe of Burlington. She is
also survived by her two brothers, Patrick Heaney of Newport Beach,
Calif., and Robert Heaney of St. Louis, Mo.
A memorial service for Joan Smith was held on Sept. 17 at UVM. In lieu of
flowers, the family suggests donations to the Joan Smith UVM Faculty
Development Fund, Office of the Provost, Waterman Hall, University of
Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405.
Coordinator, Center for Research on Vermont
and Vermont Studies Program
University of Vermont
589 Main Street, Nolin House
Burlington, VT 05401-3439
Email: <[log in to unmask]>; Telephone: 802-656-8363
Fax: 802-656-8518; Web site: