December 3, 2022

Ethel (Toni) Thornton Smith


Ethel (Toni) Thornton Smith 96, of East Providence, RI passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on November 6th, 2022. She was the daughter of Gladys Foulkes Thornton and Earl Carlton Thornton of East Providence. She was born on May 13,1926 in Providence, Rhode Island.

She leaves behind two children. Her son Gordon H. Smith Jr. of Riverside and his fiancé Pamela Brown of Newmarket NH, and her daughter, Nancy Parella and her husband Christopher of East Providence RI. She also leaves her beloved grandchildren; Summer Smith of Pawtucket, RI, Samuel Smith of New York City, NY, Kaitlin Parella and her husband Alex Stephens of Milton, MA and Victoria Parella of Dorchester MA.

She also leaves her half sister Janet Thornton Nieburg of Vestal, NY.

Ethel was a graduate of East Providence High School class of 1943 and a graduate of Brown University, (Pembroke), class of 1947.

She worked as a Social Worker for the State of Rhode Island for many years and volunteered at the East Providence Senior Center.

Ethel cherished visits with her family, enjoyed spending time with her life long friends, and was an avid reader. She loved good jokes, Hershey Kisses, and hearing about the adventures and travels of her grandchildren.

The family wishes to extend their heartfelt appreciation to the nursing staff at Tockwotten on the Waterfront for their kind and compassionate care.

Funeral services and burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers donations in Ethel’s memory can be made to McAuley Ministries, 622 Elmwood Avenue, Providence 02907 or at

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