The late Lita Smith, civic volunteer and former member of the Hawaiian Gardens Parks and Recreation Commission, was memorialized Saturday at a tree planting ceremony at Lee Ware Park. Smith's friends and family members, including grandchildren, gathered to hear recitations of her civic activities and to unveil a bronze plaque embedded in concrete at the base of a 12-foot jacaranda tree in a grassy strip beside the Coyote Creek channel.
Smith served four years on the Parks and Recreation Commission, was a life member of PTA and helped found an out-of-school Head Start program in Hawaiian Gardens. She also was on the countywide March of Dimes advisory board three years, and served in various capacities for United Way, YMCA, community help line, family guidance center and hospital advisory board, according to remarks by Juanita Harlan, a fellow member with Smith on the Los Angeles County Health Planning Board.
Smith died of cancer Feb. 20. She was 54 and had lived in Hawaiian Gardens for 27 years.