Magda M. Smith
The family of Magda M. Smith, formerly of St. John, announce the passing of their dearly loved wife, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother. In the loving embrace of her husband Alan, their son, Derik and his wife, Narmin, Magda took flight to the Kingdom of Light and Eternal Glory on Jan. 14, 2020, in Claremont, Calif.
Magda Smith was born on Jan. 19, 1939, in Menden, Germany. She emigrated to the United States in 1960 to work as a “mother’s helper” in Worchester, Mass. In 1962, she entered the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Graduating with a degree in American Studies in 1966, she began graduate school in 1967 and was awarded a master’s degree in the history of art upon completion of her studies.
Magda, a member of the Baha’i Faith since 1971, and her husband, Alan, in 1972, whom she married in 1974. In April 1976, the Smiths and their 9-month-old son, Derik, moved to the Virgin Islands, settling on St. John in May. Their mission was to help establish a Baha’i community on the island.
In addition to serving on both elected and appointed institutions of the Baha’i Faith in the Virgin Islands and throughout Caribbean for nearly four decades, Magda was very active in Virgin Islands community life, art and culture. She was an active member of the St. John Business and Professional Women’s Association, serving one year as its president. She was a founder and member of the first board of directors of the Pine Peace Pre-School, which has since evolved into Gifft Hill School on St. John; a member of the Virgin Islands Humanities Council and the Council’s executive director from 1991 to 2002, and a friend, promotor and advocate for St. Thomas painter and sculptor Albert E. Daniel. In 1987, Magda curated the first major retrospective of Daniel at Fort Christian for month. That same year, she prepared and donated to the school system a multimedia kit on Daniel’s life and work. Until 2010, she was sought after as one of the most knowledgeable people in the Virgin Islands on Daniel and his work. In addition to giving numerous talks throughout the Virgin Islands, mounting exhibits of his work, and writing articles on Daniel, Magda published Never Had a Lesson in May Life, Albert E. Daniel, Dean of Virgin Islands Painting and Sculpture in 2016, three years after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Through Magda Smith’s efforts, 21 Daniel works, paintings and sculpture have been acquired and placed in trust as the nucleus of a permanent public exhibit of his at such time as an adequate facility can be identified in the Virgin Islands.
Magda M. Smith is survived by her husband, Alan; one son, Derik J. Smith; her daughter-in-law, Narmin Esfahani Smith; three grandchildren Badi W. Smith, Shiraz F. Smith and Bahiyyih E. Smith. She is also survived by her brothers, Peter Guennewig, Wolfgang Guennewig, Udo Guennewig and Bernd Guennewig; sisters Christa Filthaut, Elisabeth Trumpa and Veronika Dorste; as well as numerus nephews, nieces, great nieces and nephews and cousins.
Funeral Services for Magda M. Smith will be held on Jan. 22 at the Todd Memorial Chapel in Pomona, Calif., with interment at the Oak Park Cemetery in Claremont, Calif. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the St. John Community Foundation, Albert E. Daniel Book Project Fund.
Allen Gregory Smith
We regret to announce the passing of Allen Gregory Smith, who passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2020, at the age of 44.
The viewing will be held on from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at Mount Zion Church with final services to follow right after at 10 a.m.
Interment is at Western Cemetery No. 3.
He is survived by his mother, Gweneth Smith; father, Richard Smith; sisters, Felecia Louis and Cherecia Kline; brothers-in-law, Alex Louis and Jason Kline; nieces, Alexis Louis and Jasmine Kline; nephews, Andrew Louis and Jayden Kline; godmother, Octavia George; friend, Recaldo Tate; aunts, Dorothy Hodge, Olive Leonard, Alma Smith, Utah Robinson, Sheila Smith, Ione Smith, Lorna Smith, Evana Smith, Yvette Smith, Yvonne and Lavone Smith; uncles, Edwin Hyman, Bradford Smith, David Smith, Wellington Smith, Toval Smith, Elroy Smith, Henry Quito Smith, Vancito Smith, Otis Smith, Dale Smith, Daniel Smith and Terence Smith; great-aunt, Ellita Fraser and Doris Callwood; great-uncle, Andrel Smith and Elmo Smith; and too many special loving cousins to mention; and family members of the Hodges, Romneys, Smiths, Penns, Hymans, Delvins of St. Thomas and Tortola.
Arrangements are by Turnbull’s Home.
Errol Guirty of Estate Whim passed away on Dec. 27, 2019. He was 70 years old.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Graealia Leonard; father, Eldron Guirty; and brother, Vern Leonard.
He is survived by his spouse, Jane Guirty; daughter, Kearya Tifanny Labelle Jasper; sons, Errol Christopher Guirty, Arrielle Geraldo Guirty and Quinton Severiano Guirty; step-daughters, Claudia Charles and Cordelia Charles; grandchildren, Kloe Isabelle Guirty, Naheim Nasarie Guirty, Ayana Leshea Guirty, Azarie Anahi Guirty, Rodriquez Guirty, Christian Guirty, Caleb Guirty, Caden Guirty, Jamil Tavarus Jasper and Zara Grace Labelle Jasper; Sisters: Janet Samuel and Irene Leonard Weaver; Brothers: Baldwin Henley, Samuel (Sam) Harvey, Kelvin (Kelly) Leonard and Leon Leonard; daughters-in-law, Kathleen Elizabeth Daher Guirty and Christine Guirty; sisters-in-law, Phillipine Mathurine, Patrice Charles and Helen De Gaul; special friends, Joan Stout, Dave Isaac, Tony Bhola, Virginia Rentas and Tony Gautier, Edmond Anthony, Matthew Cazabourne and Kerwin James; and oher relatives and friends too numerous to mention.
The viewing will be at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at Ebenezer Methodist Church, with the service to follow at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at Kingshill Cemetery.
Arrangements are by James Memorial Funeral Home.
Danna Brosius Redding
St. Croix has lost a beloved member of the community with the death on Jan. 7, of Danna Brosius Redding, proprietor of From the Gecko Boutique. Born Jan. 11, 1965 and raised in New York City, from a young age Danna was an independent spirit who built her own life. She put herself through New York University and found a niche in the fashion industry.
After her move to St. Croix in 1991, she opened Pangea Restaurant in Christiansted. Often remembered as “way ahead of its time,” Pangea thrived in the early 1990s until Hurricane Marilyn blew it away in 1995.
Danna made a fresh start post-Marilyn and, while living at Annapolis Sailing School, she met Don Redding, a self-proclaimed “pirate” with Sean Connery looks and 42-foot sailboat “Helios” that he had masterfully restored. Shortly after their meeting, Danna embarked on her first sail, provisioning Helios and travelling with Don to Trinidad and around the Caribbean. They married in 1998.
In 1999, Danna returned to fashion and retail — first as an employee and later the proprietor of From the Gecko. This men’s and women’s clothing store, now on Company Street, is celebrating 30 years in business.
She delighted in dressing St. Croix residents and visitors for island life, for work and for special occasions. Her skilled and devoted crew has kept the store thriving in this difficult period. Danna relished costume design and offered wardrobe assistance and donations for Caribbean Community Theatre and high school theater departments. She has served on the board of CRRA (Christiansted Restaurant and Retail Association) and has played an active part in revitalizing Christiansted.
Danna loved astronomy, the planet Earth and all plants and animals. She nurtured several dogs and cats as well as an impressive orchid and succulent garden and numerous bird feeders.
She had an encyclopedic knowledge of movies, Sci Fi, music and books. She was a great cook and was an herbalist at heart. Above all, Danna drew people in with her thoughtfulness and generosity.
Danna died days shy of her 55th birthday, surrounded by close family, friends and her pets after a short battle with a rare, aggressive cancer she was confident she would beat.
She is survived by her aunt Helene who, with her partner Mary Jo and together with many wonderful friends, provided her love and care.
Also surviving are her mom Robin, dad Carl, half sister Juliet and numerous friends in New York and around the world.
She was preceded in death by her husband Don Redding, who died just two months ago. (See obituary for Don on this page).
A celebration of their lives will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. today on the beach at Ha’Penny. All are welcome to come to honor Danna and Don.
Donald Patrick Redding
Donald Patrick Redding, admired friend and master builder, died on Nov. 10, 2019. Born Nov. 6, 1943, few people are able to be one with both the earth and sea, but Don was a special human being. The sailor, the planter, carpenter and cabinet builder, the survivor, the poet and artist, the renaissance man, the pirate, Don lived simply, contributing in his own positive ways. Those of us fortunate to have shared his life are part of the fabric of a life well lived.
Don spent six years in the U.S. Marines in the 1960s before joining the working world. Not suited to that life, he chose to drop out and live off the grid, most at ease without all the creature comforts and spared the intrusion of the modern world. For a while he lived contentedly deep in the woods of Oklahoma, which remained one of his favorite haunts.
After Hurricane Hugo in 1989, Don relocated to St. Croix to help rebuild it from the devastating storm. Well regarded for his exacting craftsmanship and work ethic, he became a mentor and remained a friend to many younger workmen.
In 1995, he helped build Christiansted’s Kings Alley with Parallel Construction and then the rotunda ceilings at Divi Carina Bay. After many projects around the island he moved on to design and build custom cabinetry for homes where his artistry and genius could truly flourish.
Don was “old school,” sketching his plans with pencil on yellow pads and graph paper. He was not a fan of technology and had just started using his phone for texting.
One of his masterpieces was restoring “Helios” in the early ’90s. He sailed Helios, a stunning 42-foot Choy Lee Ketch sailboat, for a year in the Eastern Caribbean and ABC islands. He carried on as a bachelor/pirate until his friends at Annapolis Sailing School introduced him to Danna Brosius in 1995. They fell in love, travelling to St. Maarten, St. Vincent, St. Lucia and onward as true sailors They married on St. Croix in 1998.
Don died of a ravaging cancer. He is survived by family and friends in Oklahoma, Texas, and Oregon and across the country, and many dear St. Croix friends. His wife Danna Brosius Redding died just two months after him, on January 7. (See obituary for Danna Brosius Redding on this page.)
There will be a celebration of life for both Don and Danna from 3 to 6 p.m. today at Ha’Penny Beach. All who wish to remember them are welcome.