Natalie Ruth Cuffee Smith of the Shinnecock Indian Nation died at Southampton Hospital on July 4. She was 78.
Born on October 1, 1934, on the Shinnecock Reservation, she was the daughter of Deforest and EllaMae Cuffee. She attended the Shinnecock school and worked in the service field. In her spare time she loved traveling, scrapbooking, assembling puzzles and spending time with her grandchildren, family and friends.
According to survivors, Ms. Smith was a wonderful and nurturing mother who cherished her children, grandchildren and siblings and was a devoted partner and wife.
A member of the Shinnecock Presbyterian Church, Ms. Smith felt a deep obligation to upholding the culture of her native people, survivors said. To deepen their appreciation of Shinnecock ways, she took her children to visit the elders of the community every Sunday.
Predeceased by her husband, Norman Franklin Smith, she is survived by five children, David Earl Smith, Brad Nolan Smith, Ella Marie Smith, Anthony Shawn Smith, all of Shinnecock, and Racquel Smith Ward of Wisconsin; her grandchildren, Brad Smith Jr., Alexander Smith, Christian Smith, Tyler Smith, Eric Roddy, Shawn Smith, Kirsten Smith, all of Shinnecock; and a great-granddaughter, Keyle Roddy of Wisconsin.
She is also survived by two daughters-in-law, Nancy Smith and Dawn Smith; a son-in-law, Roy Ward; a sister, Alice Cuffee; three sisters-in-law, Yvonne Smith Thomas, Gloria Smith and Janice Smith Marshall; a brother-in-law, Albert Marshall; two aunts, Sara Marshall Lee of Maryland and Bessie Marshall of Shinnecock; several nieces and nephews, Eugene Cuffee, Connie Cuffee, Ernest Cuffee, Jennifer Cuffee-Wilson and Leonard Cuffee, all of Shinnecock, and Louis Cuffee of Michigan; and a host of cousins.
The family received friends at the Brockett Funeral Home in Southampton on July 7. A funeral took place on July 8 at the Shinnecock Presbyterian Church; the Reverend Michael Smith officiated. Interment followed at Shinnecock Cemetery.