Joan S. Smith, fabulous hostess

June 25, 2020

Joan S. Smith, 89, of Dagsboro, formerly of Potomac, Md., passed away Monday, June 22, 2020, at Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, Md.

Joan was born in East Orange, N.J., April 10, 1931, daughter of the late Henry Sautter and Peggy (Carey) Sautter.  She worked as an executive secretary for the FBI from 1952-73 prior to raising her family.  Joan then worked from 1987-94 as an administrative aide in the development office for Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda, Md.  

She was a member of the Republican Women’s Club, St. Ann Parish in Bethany Beach and The Spirit Committee of Point Farm.  Joan will be remembered as a fabulous hostess who loved to entertain and cook for others.  She was an avid reader, loved to shop and go out to eat.  Joan was a friend to many.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, James L. Smith, in 2006; and a brother, Henry “Buddy” Sautter.  She is survived by her two daughters, Margaret J. Clifton and her husband Donald, and Nancy L. Smith all of Dagsboro; six grandchildren, Sarah, James, Elizabeth, David, Patricia and Rebecca Clifton; a sister-in-law, Eileen Sautter of Lakewood, N.J.; a niece, Carolyn Gordon and her husband Don of Dagsboro; and two nephews, Steven Sautter of Lakewood and Scott Sautter of St. Augustine, Fla.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m., Tuesday, June 30, at St. Ann Catholic Church, 691 Garfield Parkway, Bethany Beach.  Interment will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Dagsboro.  

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Social distancing protocols will be observed and masks are mandatory for all attending services.

Flowers are welcomed or donations in Joan’s name to John M. Clayton Elementary School Mentoring Program, 252 Clayton Ave., Frankford, DE 19945.

Online condolences may be sent by visiting



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