In Memory

Blithe Caroline Coffey (Smith) - Class Of 1975 VIEW PROFILE

Blithe Caroline Coffey (Smith)

July 5, 1957 - July 20, 2004

Blithe Caroline Smith, 47, of Los Osos, died suddenly and unexpectedly July 20, 2004, in San Luis Obispo.

Blithe was born July 5, 1957, in Arcadia, the only child of Elizabeth and George Baxter. She grew up in Claremont and graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in French and a minor in history. She met Scott Smith of Santa Barbara, who was also a UCSB graduate and they were married Oct. 20, 1990. Blithe and Scott moved to Los Osos and were blessed with a beautiful daughter, Genevieve Elizabeth Smith. Blithe and Genevieve sadly lost Scott in January of 1997, after his courageous battle with cancer.

Blithe was later engaged to be married to Jon Flanagin. They met in San Luis Obispo and became friends through work. She was working as a dispatcher for Coastal Roll-Off at the time and was much loved by "her" drivers. Blithe, Genevieve and Jon enjoyed spending time at their home in Los Osos and playing board games, watching movies, listening to music and being together.

Blithe loved music and spending time with her many friends. She enjoyed games and toys and being with those she loved. She loved wearing clothes with stripes and playing with cats, especially her cat, Tiger. She insisted on having her name spelled correctly and dreamed of one day returning to France. 

Blithe cherished her family and home and enjoyed taking her mother, Elizabeth, on shopping trips and other adventures. She loved everything about living in Los Osos and was very proud of having helped paint the beautiful murals in town. Above all else, she loved, adored and cherished her wonderful daughter, Genevieve.

Blithe's quick wit, bright smile, and big heart will be warmly remembered and never forgotten.

Blithe is survived by her beloved daughter, Genevieve; mother, Elizabeth Anne Linehan of Los Osos; aunt, Janet Warner of Prunedale; only cousin, Cathryn Nation and her family, of Kensington; devoted fiance, Jon; parents, Jack and Barbara Flanagin of Atascadero; and sisters, Nancy Hetrick of Arroyo Grande, Pattie Annon of Nipomo, and their families. She is also survived by Scott's family; his parents, Gene and Elaine Smith of Santa Barbara; brothers, Pete, Randy and Mark; his sister, Sylvia; and their families.

She was preceded in death by her father, George Baxter.

To help provide for her daughter, Genevieve, and to honor her memory, the family has established a memorial fund in Blithe's name. Contributions may be sent to the Blithe C. Smith Memorial Fund, c/o Mid-State Bank, 1001 Los Osos Valley Rd., Los Osos, CA 93404.


~ San Luis Obispo Tribune on July 29, 2004

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01/13/16 08:43 AM #1    

Suzanne Beth Fuller (Braswell) (1975)

Blithe was a beautiful person who was brimming with life. She faced numerous obstacles and losses, but she did so with courage and passion. As corny as it may sound to those who may not have had the great pleasure of knowing her, she was a woman who seemed to take challenges and joys in the moment and fully, in the manner of Camus' great heros. Ma très chère copine, au jour le jour, tu me manques. --Suzanne Fuller Braswell, 13 January 2016.

01/14/16 05:38 AM #2    

Monica Anne Borrelli (Hess) (1975)

I'm so sorry to learn of Blithe's death. I remember hanging out at her house, smoking, talking about boys and life, and CONCERTS we wanted to attend. I admired her joie de vivre and carefree spirit. She may be gone, but is not forgotten.

01/14/16 08:25 PM #3    

Jonathan David Bellman (1975)


OK, a favorite Blithe Coffey story.  We were the same age, and after being in Sandy Eagleton’s AP English class at CHS, and four years of French, I hadn’t seen her for a while, and didn’t know she had chosen to go to UCSB.  I transferred  up there, and in perhaps my second year had—let’s say—a reverse in my personal life.  Seething, I resolved to just walk around campus, miserable, smoking my Shermans MCDs (Suffering Byronic hero in my own mind; sullen post-adolescent snot in objective reality).  Shortly after flinging myself out of the dorm, I was in a part of campus I didn’t usually visit, striding and stewing, and of of nowhere, “Jon BELLMAN?  I haven’t seen you in ages!  How are you…?”  Fifteen minutes of Blithe later (she introduced me to her boyfriend, invited me over to visit them, etc.), my planned afternoon of misery and self-pity was ruined.  I wasn’t really depressed or angry anymore, so it was time to go practice, to get back to work.

I’ve told this story many times, mostly to illustrate what a self-centered little jerk I was.  It is a fact, though, that Blithe's utter irrepressibility completely turned my day and mood around, and I’ve remembered it my whole life.  It really can be as simple as an unexpected warm greeting, a friendly face, jollity.

Go well, Blithe, soar in joy.  I’m one of many who will remember you.

Jon Bellman, '75

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