Folsom Funeral Service

Smith, Verity Carlisle

Smith, V. Carlisle

 Verity Carlisle Smith, beloved husband, father and friend died on April 10th after a brief illness, at the age of 94.  He was surrounded by family with love and support in his final moments.

Carlisle grew up in West Roxbury, the eldest of three children.  He attended the Roxbury Latin School and the Huntington School, and subsequently enrolled at MIT.  His enlistment in the Army during WWII delayed his completion of college.  After returning from his time in France, Belgium, and Germany, he completed his degree from MIT in Chemical Engineering (1948).  He remained connected to MIT for the rest of his life, speaking proudly of his alma mater and serving as treasurer for his alumni class.  The opportunities he was afforded because of his schooling contributed to his life-long value and priority of education over any tangible assets; this was demonstrated by his commitment and sacrifices to support his children’s education.

Known professionally as “Verity,” his career began at Dennison Industries, followed by 18 years at Barnstead Still and Sterilizer Co.  In 1967, he founded Vaponics, Inc. of Plymouth, with expansion including offices in London and Bangkok.  He directed the company until it was sold in 1988 to Osmonics, Inc. at which point he joined their Board of Directors, keeping his hands in the mix for several years.  Verity continued his career in ultra-pure water through sales and consulting until his full retirement two years ago.  Throughout his career, he authored many professional papers and held over 20 process and equipment patents relating to water purification.  In 1969, he was elected as a Fellow in the American Institute of Chemical Engineering.  He was a 50-year member of the American Society of Testing and Materials and his noteworthy work in his field was honored by them in 1982 with the prestigious Max Hecht Award.  His professional associations also included membership in the American Nuclear Society and the American Chemical Society.

As a child, Carlisle spent his free time as a “spark” chasing fires on his bicycle.  In his teens he became a volunteer firefighter, and at 20, his experience responding to the Coconut Grove Fire stimulated a life-long commitment to fire prevention.  As a member of the Massachusetts Board of Fire Prevention Regulations, he contributed to the Commonwealth’s development of a comprehensive fire safety code.  His 55 years of dedicated service was acknowledged with the Fire Marshall Award at a ceremony in 2011.  Carlisle was also a member of the Box 52 Association, an organization focused on fire prevention, which was named after the Great Boston Fire of 1872 that destroyed 776 buildings.  (By chance or not, Carlisle was born on the 50th anniversary – to the day – of this historical event!)  Carlisle’s passion for fire fighting and fire prevention were evident throughout his life.  He was never far from a scanner and would always make time to attend a local fire, to offer his expertise, and, at times, to join the investigative team.  He installed a 3-story fire pole in his home and for decades loved giving people rides on his 1928 Maxim Fire Engine.

His community involvement extended beyond his interests in fire prevention.  Following the death of his first wife, Marcia, he assumed her role (for 40+ years) on the board of Associated Day Care Services of Boston.  (This was later known as Associated Early Care and Education, Inc. and was recently renamed Nurtury.)  Finally, following the footsteps of his politically-active mother, Carlisle was a member of the Republican Town Committee in Dedham.  He also shared his mother’s strong commitment to summer camps for youth and held fond memories of his involvement at Camp Kiwanis in Hanson and Camp Chappa Challa in Duxbury.

Carlisle lived in Dedham for over 60 years and spent summers in Duxbury and later in Little Compton, RI.  He traveled extensively for both business and pleasure, connecting with people world-wide.  He loved sailing, skiing, and gardening; he was a fabulous cook; and was the best of story tellers.  Wherever he made his home, he loved to entertain; he welcomed everyone to enjoy drinks, spirited conversations and amazing meals.  Throughout his life he touched many, who then became part of his extended family.  He made time to deliver holiday flowers to his parents’ elderly friends, took nieces and nephews under his wing, provided jobs for people, offered advice, and helped family, friends and neighbors in any way that he could.  Whether it be the local barber, his car mechanic, the president of a corporation, a political candidate or his oldest and dearest friend, he cared.  His lighthearted humor and far-reaching compassion for others will be greatly missed.

After the major tragedy of losing his first wife, Marcia, in 1965, he was left with their five children.  A few years later he married Anita, taking in three stepchildren and having one more child.  Together they spent many happy years (not without a little chaos), raising their nine children and later enjoying their grandchildren.  Without question, Carlisle vigorously embraced all aspects of his life including his family, his community, and his career.  He modeled for all an enthusiasm for experience and the importance of making the most of every day.  For those of us who have had the fortune to know and love him, this passion for life will carry on for years to come.

Carlisle leaves behind his beloved wife, Anita Wilder Smith, and his six children Verity Brooks Smith of California; Gordon Taylor Smith and his wife, Michelle, of Plympton; Carlann McKee Welch of Portland, ME; Nathan Carlisle Smith and his wife, Natcha, of Duxbury; Margo Hyland Rush and her husband, Kevin, of Shelton, CT; and Jennifer Rosamond Wieting and her husband, Carl, of Providence, RI.  He also leaves 3 stepchildren, Pieter Van Slyck and his wife, Marie, of Duxbury; Katrena Hartwig and her husband, Ted, of College Station, TX; and Derek Van Slyck of Plymouth.  He will be missed by his grandchildren Will Welch and his wife, Cara; Emylee Weissgarber and her husband, Wes; Peter Hartwig; Curtis Van Slyck; Josh Hartwig; Jonathan Rush; Marshall Smith; Sophie Wieting; Eva Wieting and Neena Smith.  Carlisle extended his home and family to include many – Linda McKee, Gordon McKee, Pam Reardon and Martha McKee, will miss him, as will Remy Branscum, Shelly Guistolise, Lea Fortkamp, Heather Hartwig Stokes, Gwyneth Fisher, Ariana Gammel.

Carlisle is also survived by his sister, Janet Smith Gross.  He was preceded in death by his parents, John Verity Smith and Hattie Hyland Smith; his first wife, Marcia Ann McKee Smith; his sister, Rosamond Smith Busboom; and his daughter-in-law, Kristin TotlebenSmith.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Memorial Service on May 6th at 12:30 PM at the First Parish Church, 842 Tremont Street in Duxbury.  Donations to Nurtury at 95 Berkeley Street, Suite 306, Boston, MA 02116 or Sophia Gordon Cancer Center at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Attn Philanthropy Office, 41 Mall Road, Burlington, MA 01805 would be appreciated.




Guestbook Entries

  1. Catherine Baker
    April 23rd, 2017 | 12:34 pm

    It was an honor and privilege to have known Carlisle- he truly was a wonderful man who loved life and everyone around him- I most recently saw him at Will and Cara’s wedding- my sincere condolences to all of the family- Cathy Baker

  2. Gregory Hunter
    April 24th, 2017 | 11:15 am

    I am so sad the hear Uncle Carlisle passed away. I expect he and dad are together again telling dirty jokes and causing trouble. I look forward to seeing everyone at the church on May 6th.

  3. ric bonnell
    April 26th, 2017 | 11:02 am

    Hey Taylor and family – very sorry for your lose. I knew ‘Verity’ professionally – working around the local electroplating industries, the same coming to know Taylor.

    I found Verity to be extremely knowledgeable and at the same time humble. Two characteristics not often found in the same man.

    Again – so sorry for your lose.

    Ric Bonnell

  4. May 2nd, 2017 | 9:48 pm

    Now living in New London, NH. Enjoyed designing the fire pole in
    Carlisle Dedham House.

    Wen Phillips

  5. The Pardee family
    May 3rd, 2017 | 11:12 am

    How fortunate we have been to know Uncle Carl. He made our lives brighter and better, as much as he did the world at large. We hold him close to our hearts as we would a family member… with love.
    Elyn Oedel Pardee, George Pardee, Nick and Will.

  6. Bud Frith
    May 6th, 2017 | 11:25 pm

    A truly unique person and so many accomplishments. One and only person to contribute so much to water purification technologies.

  7. Andy Halford
    May 12th, 2017 | 8:19 pm

    It is with much sadness that I have learned of Carlisle’s passing. In 1973 he and Anita and family welcomed me as a high school junior into their home for my last year and a half at Nobles. That time was hugely impactful on me in so many ways, not the least of which was having the opportunity to meet Carlisle and experience the charm and wit with which he navigated those days in Dedham. In later years the opportunities to meet were limited but I cherished those moments and will continue to remember them fondly. My condolences to all as you celebrate his remarkable life.

  8. Laurie Switzer
    June 16th, 2017 | 12:55 am

    Carlisle had a big heart, and lots of opinions. His warmth and laughter were precious. I am inspired by his life and the family he created. He is dearly missed.

  9. Fran and Coll walker
    December 28th, 2017 | 11:49 pm

    Carlisle will be missed at the farm and in our home. He brought his experiences in life to life with witty tales and general acceptance of people from all walks of life. We thank Nathan for bringing Carlisle into our life.

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Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service