Diane  Smith Macpherson

Obituary of Diane Mary Smith Macpherson

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Dateline: Clifton Park, New York

Diane Mary Smith Macpherson, 85, longtime resident of Albany and Clifton Park, passed away peacefully of old age on Wednesday November 29, 2023 at the Eddy Village Green in Cohoes. She was born on February 6, 1938 in Albany, and was the daughter of the late Frederick Sarsfield Smith, Sr., and Irene Marie Burmaster Smith.

The former wife of Duncan G. Macpherson, Diane was the devoted mother of Duncan F. (Terese) Macpherson of Clifton Park, Kara Marie Macpherson of Albany, and Christine Mary (John Gieschen) Macpherson of Chesterfield, NH. She was the sister of the late Frederick S. Smith, Jr., and the cherished grandmother of Duncan Bryce Macpherson, Andrew Charles Macpherson, Elias Daniel Macpherson Wein, Georgia Yardsley Gieschen, and Frederick Christopher Gieschen. She was the loyal and beloved sister-in-law to James F. (Annie)  Macpherson, Yardsley A. Macpherson. Mary K. (Kathy) Macpherson, Elizabeth R. (John) Rowe, and Christine F. (John) Meharg. Diane also loved her dog Webster, who most certainly greeted her in heaven. 

Diane spent her childhood years in Colonie. She often shared stories of riding her bike with friends, ice skating, swimming, watching her father from the tracks as he engineered the New York Central Railroad from Albany to Syracuse, and taking the bus downtown to attend social events with friends. Diane was a graduate of Vincentian Institute in Albany, Class of 1956, attending on a full academic scholarship for her achievements at Blessed Sacrament School. After graduation, Diane worked for more than 30 years as an Administrative Assistant and eventually a Software Trainer for the NYS Office of Mental Health.

Diane was a devout Catholic and was an active communicant of Our Lady of Mercy in Colonie and St. Mary’s Church in Crescent. She, like her father, was an avid Brooklyn Dodgers fan, and eventually became a Yankees fan. She often traveled with friends to attend games in New York City, Baltimore, and spring training in Florida. Diane also enjoyed spending time on the beaches of Rhode Island and Cape Cod. She loved reading mystery novels and enjoyed music, especially Broadway show tunes and early rock and roll music, like Fats Domino, Chubby Checker, and crooners such as Johnny Mathis.

Diane was a private person who had an irreverent, self-deprecating sense of humor and a quick wit. Her faith was central to her perspectives on life; she often encouraged her children to live ethically, but also to not take life too seriously. She took great pride in her children and grandchildren and loved animals, flowers, lakes, and the ocean, as well as visits to small towns throughout New England.

Diane lived her life by the Shaker sentiment ’tis a gift to be simple,’tis a gift to be free. The Shakers believed in simplicity and equality and, perhaps from her father’s Shaker heritage, these attributes shaped Diane’s life. She cared deeply about social justice and imparted this belief on her children. Simplicity was carried through her approach to many things, from living clutter free to the simple pleasure of a good book or a challenging crossword puzzle.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Friday December 8, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s of Crescent Church located at 86 Church Hill Road, in Waterford NY 12188.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday in the Gordon C. Emerick Funeral Home, 1550 Rt. 9 Clifton Park, NY 12065.

Interment will be in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery, Colonie, NY.



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4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday, December 7, 2023
Gordon C. Emerick Funeral Home
1550 Route Nine
Clifton Park, New York, United States


10:00 am - 10:45 am
Friday, December 8, 2023
St. Mary's Church, Crescent
86 Church Hill Road
Waterford, New York, United States


11:30 am - 11:45 am
Friday, December 8, 2023
Our Lady of Angels Cemetery
1339 Central Avenue
Albany, New York, United States


In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Diane may be made to the City Mission of Schenectady online at www.citymission.com or via mail to P.O. Box 760, Schenectady, NY 12301.
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Diane  Smith Macpherson

In Loving Memory

Diane Smith Macpherson

1938 - 2023

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