Tessa Margaret Lindsay Smith
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Flower of the Forest

Tessa Margaret Lindsay Smith

1945 - 2015

As a precursor to her obituary, it should be known to all that it was Tess Lindsay Smith who came to the Lindsay International web site August 19, 2002 and began my introduction to the history of what would become, at this web site the Lindsays of Birker.  Tess was a delight to work with in developing all that was known about the genealogy of this outstanding English family.  Of course Tess will be sorely missed by her family but also by all those who had the privilege of crossing her path.

The male line of the Lindsays of Birker are represented on this web site as DNA Group 16

Madison, Wisconsin - Tess Margaret Lindsay died after a brief onslaught of an unforgiving and fast moving cancer on Jan. 3, 2015. Tess was born Oct. 29, 1945, at The Master's Lodgings, Balliol College, Oxford to Thomas Martin Lindsay and Denise Vaughan (nee Hilda Blackman). She lived at Balliol and East Claydon until age three, then moved to Withymede in Devon with her mother. At age five, Tess moved to Keele University, North Staffordshire, with her mother and grandparents. Tess attended the village school and a local school in Newcastle-under-Lyme, then to St. Dominic's School for Girls, Stoke-on-Trent.  

In 1952, Tess' mother Denise remarried Ben Noble and in 1953 younger brother, John Ben was born. The family moved to Rutherglen, Glasgow, Scotland, where Tess attended Burnside elementary school for two years until, at age 11, she won entrance to the prestigious Hutchesons' Girls' Grammar School in Glasgow. In 1956, younger sister, Anna was born, and in August 1962 the family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, where Tess entered the UW Madison at age 16 ('62-'65), graduating with a B.A. in French and German.  

On Jan. 28, 1966, in Langhorne, Pennsylvania., Tess married Robert E. Smith. The couple lived in Philadelphia, Pa., and Tess worked at the John Wanamaker department store and at Provident Mutual Insurance Co. During this time in Philadelphia, Tess also received her U.S. citizenship. The couple moved back to Madison in December of that year, and Tess was employed first by DEMCO Supplies and then as a psychometrist at the Neuropsychology Lab at UW Hospital and Clinics (1967-2000).  She was a founding member of the National Association of Psychometrists (NAP) and editor of the association newsletter NAP Network for seven years. Their daughter, Jennifer was born in 1966 and son, Matthew in 1973; over the years Tess was first a devoted and caring mother and later, an appropriately doting grandmother. Tess and Robert would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2016.  

Text Box: Figure 1
Tess Lindsay with her husband, Robert Smith
Like most obituaries, the list of facts doesn't give a sense of who she was: an English girl born in the turmoil at the end of World War II who became a whip-smart woman with a compassionate heart; a fast, clever and honest wit; and a deep love of knowledge and learning. Tess was dedicated to her family, and devoted time and energy to a small number of deep, lifelong friendships. She never forgot a birthday or anniversary or significant event, and anyone who had the pleasure of corresponding with her knew she was a gifted writer. Her lengthy, detailed letters were filled with humor and wisdom, penned in her signature beautiful, all caps handwriting, courtesy of St. Dominics School for Girls. She had a talent for and lifelong interest in learning languages, reading and singing (most recently as a member of the Sound of Madison for 12 years and Stay Tuned chorus). Hobbies included calligraphy, dance, and volunteering-ironically she was diagnosed with her illness just following a volunteer shift at a hospice organization for terminally ill patients.  

Tess is preceded in death by her mother and father, and survived by her husband, Robert Smith; daughter, Jennifer (Efrem Jasso) and son, Matthew (Joyce Wong); and beloved grandchildren, Deacon Jasso (2003) and Thomas Wongsmith (2010), as well as her two older brothers, Alexander Sebastian (Sandie) Lindsay and Thomas Martin Lindsay, younger brother, John Ben Noble and sister, Anna Pritchard, as well as several half-brothers around the world.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, at Ryan Funeral Home, Madison, Wisconsin. Family and friends are welcome and encouraged at this time to share their memories of Tess. At a later date, Tess' ashes will be scattered on Hovel Knott in Broughton Mills, Cumbria, England.  In lieu of flowers, Tess has asked for charitable donations to be made to Medicins sans frontiers (Doctors without Borders), NARAL, Planned Parenthood, Dane County Humane Society.  She will be missed greatly but always remembered by friends and family.