Polly Smith Cure
GUILDERLAND — Polly Smith Cure, a World War II Army veteran, described by her daughter-in-law as “a grand lady,” died on Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center, embraced by the love of her family. She was 89.
Mrs. Cure was born in Kingston on May 10, 1924, to the late Dr. Reuben Smith and Olive Hill Smith, of Margaretville.
She graduated from Margaretville Central High School in 1942, and often spoke with love about the little town in the Catskills where she grew up.
In 1945, Mrs. Cure graduated from Vassar Brothers Hospital Training School, where she was licensed as a registered nurse.
She served as a first lieutenant in the United States Public Health Service at Marine Hospital on Staten Island, lovingly caring for many soldiers as they returned home from the war.
“She loved the nursing profession and she had a great passion for it,” said her daughter-in-law, Linda Cure. “It was a passion she never lost; even later, in the nursing home, she became like a caretaker for the other residents.”
Mrs. Cure was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 28, and fought her disease with courage and determination, always caring for others who were ill, in the hope that someday a cure would be found for MS, wrote her family in a tribute.
After the war was over, in 1946, Mrs. Cure and her nursing friends moved to West Palm Beach, and she loved the sun, the beach, and the good times she had in Florida.
Mrs. Cure moved back to New York, and married Fred Dales Cure Jr., of Pine Hill, on Dec. 24, 1949.
She worked as a registered nurse in several capacities, including at Albany Medical Center and as a substitute in the Guilderland Central School District.
She was very close to her brother, 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Kingsley Smith, a jet pilot in the Air Force, a hero who prevented his disabled jet fighter from crashing into a German village in 1954.
Mrs. Cure and her husband enjoyed a long life together and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1999; their marriage ended only with his death in 2001.
Mr. Cure, according to Linda Cure, was a very supportive husband, helping his wife live her life to the fullest while battling her MS. The couple enjoyed traveling to Florida during the winter, where Mrs. Cure soaked up the warmth.
“She had a very joyous life and a great sense of humor,” said Linda Cure. “It was a testament to her strength.”
Mrs. Cure is survived by her son, Peter T. Cure, and his wife, Linda, of Altamont, and she was the adored “NaNa” of Christopher, Emily, and Lea Cure.
Mrs. Cure’s family extends a special thanks and gratitude to the Rosary staff at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center, in Guilderland, where she lived for over six years. Her quick wit and love of nursing were cherished by her nurses and aids, who treated her with great dignity and respect, wrote her family in a tribute. She was “family” to her entire staff.
“We are forever grateful to each of you for the incredible loving care she received,” her family wrote.
The family also thanks the Community Hospice and Reverend Bob Luidens for assisting Mrs. Cure “in her journey home.”
A memorial service will be held at the DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home, 5216 Western Ave., Guilderland, on Monday, Nov. 18, from 5 to 7 p.m. Reverend Bob Luidens will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be made to the National MS Society, Upstate New York Chapter, 1650 South Ave., Suite 100, Rochester, NY 14620, or Our Lady of Mercy Life Center, 2 Mercy Care Lane, Guilderland, NY 12084.
— Anne Hayden Harwood