Victor Huglin

It was an honour and a privilege to have known marina and her amazing family since I first visited beth shalom over 25 years ago.
Her kindness and warmth was all-consuming and her deep genuine interest and concern for everyone she met was amazing.
On a personal level she always wrote such beautiful personal messages full
of love, affection and genuine interest.

I am a better person from being lucky enough to have enjoyed her company and scrummy teas with her and Eddie.
She has left an indelible contribution to mankind.… Read the rest

Christine Robinson

My very sincere condolences to Stephen and James and all of the extended family.

I first met the special lady I was privileged to call mother in 1981 and last saw her on Mother’s Day 2022. In all that long time she remained the same. The same sweet smile, the same loving arms. I can never put into words what she meant to me and all of those wonderful memories are stored in my heart forever.
She was an outstanding and extraordinary person who changed the lives of so many for the better.
With grateful thanks and all my love.… Read the rest

Alan & Sue Rockley

Dear Mother,
We will miss you, yet you have accomplished your work here on earth, amazingly! How glorious and uplifting to know the Lord holding your hand and the host of angels beside you as your journey carried on to Glorious Eternal life with God.

We know you will be still watching over us. The books, cards, letters, emails, and so much more. You have prepared us with everything to carry on as you want us to grow, thank you.

Mrs Smith took us under her wings. Her steadfast love has kept us and never let us go.… Read the rest

Diane Page

I first met Mrs Smith in 1980 when my best friend Jill knew of my broken heart and said she knew someone who could help me well that was the biggest understatement ever!! From the moment I met Mrs Smith my life changed, I knew I had met someone very special and was privileged to call Mother.
You were a true ‘one-off’ with a zeal for life, a great sense of humour and a passion for your work, and you would light up any room and make everyone feel special. You lived your life to the full, not a moment wasted – we all knew you would never really retire and you ran the race to the end.… Read the rest

Shamea Lee

I was very fortunate to have already met Mrs Marina Smith before the loss of my parents. My sister had encouraged me to spend my holiday at the retreat house that Mrs Smith was running. It was 1979 and I was in my first year of nurse training. Subsequently, in later years when first my mother, then my dad passed away, Mrs Marina Smith helped me to heal. She enveloped me in her love, picked up the broken pieces and skill fully made me whole.  She had also helped me so magnificently in every aspect of my life’s journey just as she had helped countless others. … Read the rest

Kate Sinclair

I was so very, very sad to hear of the passing of Mrs Smith. I first met this wonderful lady when I came to work at Beth Shalom six years ago, as I embarked upon on my first museum sector job. From the moment I set foot in the beautiful gardens I felt that the place was alive with a kind of vibrance and aura around it, and I quickly learned that its beating heart was Bethany. I was soon invited for tea with Marina, and I was humbled and delighted that she would take the time to welcome me, as a young new member of staff, in such a personal way.… Read the rest

Helen Scott

We will never forget Marina’s kindness, warmth and affection shown to us when we visited her and Eddie. The very welcoming afternoon tea was much appreciated after our journey to Laxton. We shall always remember the walk around their beautiful garden in the sunshine. Later on the same day Marina arranged an interesting guided tour of the recently opened ‘The Journey’ museum. Amazingly on this very day a secretary from Liberal Judaism, London, had posted to Beth Shalom a document which they believed should be archived at Laxton.… Read the rest

Lynda McKeown

Dearest Mother

Words cannot express how precious you have been to me over the years. I will always be grateful for the day you came into my life back in 1984. I visited you in your converted farmhouse and received much help from that day onwards as you listened, counselled, prayed for me, loved me, cared for me and taught me, setting my feet on a rock.

You have been a true lifeline to me in countless ways and your sacrificial love has not only touched myself and my family but many many others across the globe.… Read the rest

Stuart Bower

Dearest Mother

It hasn’t yet sunk in that you will no longer be at Bethany. You leave an aching void , but we also know you have run the race with boldness, focus and determination and received your eternal reward in the Heavenlies. We love you so much.

It is the most amazing privilege to have received your love and encouragement throughout my life. You laid down your life for me and my family again and again. Gave me self respect , loved me and forgave me when I didn’t deserve it. Helped me fight my own shortcomings.… Read the rest

Hilary Mendelsson

Dear Stephen, James, grandchildren and family. In the Jewish tradition I wish you long life. My words echo all the tributes to Marina a woman of supreme worth, a woman whose price was truly above rubies. On a personal level I share your sadness. A light has gone out of our personal world and of the world at large. Only three weeks ago when she must’ve been feeling very ill she took the trouble to send me flowers on the anniversary of my beloved Steve’s death with her usual loving and comforting words.… Read the rest

Pam Adamson

My dearest Mother, words are inadequate to express my gratitude for all the blessings you have brought into my life and that of my family through your Mother heart of love, compassion, generosity, counsel, forgiveness and prayers over the years. To have known you has been life changing. There are so many happy memories of times shared together, sometimes one to one, in celebrations, afternoon teas and visits to my home. No matter how busy your life was you always had time to be there too in times of need and sadness giving sacrificially of your love, practical support, counsel and prayer.
Read the rest

Frances Segelman Petchey

It is with great sadness I heard the news of the passing of Marina. She was without doubt one of the loveliest people I have ever met. Her amazing life story will never be forgotten by so many people’s lives that she has touched. I feel so privileged that I was able to sculpt her at Beth Shalom and get to know her through my sculpting and then to be able to see her face when the bust was unveiled was so moving.

Sending love to all her family

From Frances… Read the rest

Joy Bower

Like so many have said, it is hard to comprehend that you are no longer here.  You have been a guiding force in my life for the last 43 years, through all the major events of life, engagement, marriage, children, job, grandchildren etc and loved me like a mother. Underlying all this was the extraordinary way you built in tools for life which I so needed, how you demonstrated unconditional love, respect for all people, and living in the world with purpose underpinned by the power of prayer. … Read the rest

Iona Nunes-Mayo

Dear James, Stephen, Eddie, Natalia, Aaron, Steph, Ariella, Seth, Sebastian, and all the extended family,

We were so very saddened to hear of the passing of Marina, our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this sad and difficult time.
There are few people in this world who leave a legacy and Marina has done just that. She will be remembered for now by many but also she will be remembered forever. History will not forget her.
Let your hearts be filled with joy from all the happy memories you have of Marina rather than sadness at your loss.… Read the rest

Audrey Ho

It was foolish, I know, to think that you would always be here. When I look back, you have been a vital part of my life and conscience for over half of my life. You opened your home and welcomed me to this country and showed me what goodness and kindness means. Compassion, Grace, Love, Generousity, Forgiveness, Faithfulness, Truth – you showed me the meaning of these, not through words but through your deeds. You were the epitome of a steadfast heart and mind.

I have so many memories of you and will miss you dearly, mother of my heart.… Read the rest

Shirley Boarer

I didn’t know what to say on receiving the unexpected and devastating news about the passing away of Marina Smith who had been such an important part of my life and that of my family. How can I sum up in a few lines what she meant to us and to so many others? For many years, she was a Mother to me, to us, and it is impossible to imagine life without her because she was always there.

We first met ‘Mother’ in 1984 when our older son was only 4 months old. (Our second son was born the following year.)… Read the rest

Lawrie Boarer

The Matriarch of Beth Shalom

When Mrs Smith’s reputation as a counsellor first reached our ears, she had already established, as a Methodist Ministers wife, a unique family home of loving care and had followed this up with her husband and sons, Beth Shalom, a house of peace. Her family would be able to be extended to include others and her counselling and love and acceptance would help many. She was already known internationally.

It was 6 years into the life of Beth Shalom, some 38 years ago, that Shirley and I first came to Beth Shalom.… Read the rest

Louise Heilbron

As a Holocaust Educator I visited Laxton a number of times.
what a thoughtful, kind lady Marina was and a wonderful hostess
I had the privilege of a delicious birthday lunch at Laxton with Eddie and Eve Oppenheimer – the three of us shared a birthday and I think of both of them each year on June 23rd
My thoughts are with Stephen and James and all the family.
Marina’s legacy lives on
Louise Heilbron… Read the rest

Shamea Lee

Over a long period of time, especially in her ‘retirement’ years and right up to the Covid19 lockdown, to raise funds in support of the genocide prevention and humanitarian work of Aegis Trust, Mrs Marina Smith always held wonderful garden tea parties in the Spring and summer and various special events in her cosy home, Bethany during the colder months. These was despite a incredibly busy schedule of hosting visitors, churning a mountain load of correspondences, fielding numerous phone calls day and night and still finding time to record volumes of memoirs for posterity ( she is the one who knew the whole story from beginning to end and inside out too).… Read the rest

Inge David

Dearest Friend Marina,

First I met Stephen and James at a Nuernberg/Fuerth reunion in the Catskill Mountains of New York; I was so impressed with what they had to say that I just had to meet this very special lady, Marina. When my friend Henry and I came to England to visit family, we made sure to include the very special Holocaust Centre in our plans. Our visit with you was a particular highlight of our visit. We loved our visit with you and I dedicated a rose in memory of a beloved aunt and uncle who were murdered in Auschwitz.… Read the rest

Gary Mills

I, my family and my friends and colleagues at the University of Nottingham are deeply saddened to hear the news of Marina’s passing. She was a remarkable women and loved by all those lucky enough to call the Centre our home. I have had the privilege of attending many events at the Centre and witnessed first hand how the Survivors would spontaneously embrace Marina and Eddie. She has done so much for so many over a very long and highly distinguished life and career.

It has been inspiring to read of her time as a school teacher and in my work with her I was always struck by the delighted enthusiasm she showed when in the presence of young people.… Read the rest