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Mary Elizabeth "Mimi" Stanley Smith
Birth: Apr. 24, 1906
Liverpool
Merseyside, England
Death: Dec. 6, 1991

Mary Elizabeth "Mimi" Stanley Smith was the maternal aunt and parental guardian of John Lennon. She was born to George Stanley and Annie Jane Millward in Liverpool, Merseyside, England. Her father was a sailor and her mother was of Welsh descent. She was the oldest of five daughters. Her other sisters were Elizabeth, Anne, Julia (John's mother), and Harriet. The family moved to Woolton, a Liverpool suburb, in the 1920s, and resided at 9 Newcastle Road, close to Penny Lane. Her mother died in 1945 and "Mimi," as she was known to the family, helped Julia to care for their father. Mimi reportedly had no interest in marriage and she worked as a trainee nurse as well as a private secretary for British businessman Ernest Vickers. She met milkman George Smith in 1932. He lived across the street from and delivered milk to the hospital where she worked. She dated George for seven years, constantly rejecting his marriage proposals, until he gave her an ultimatum one day and they were married on September 15, 1939. They moved to 251 Menlove Avenue in Mendips, where John would spend his childhood and write some of the most famous songs in music history with Paul McCartney in the glass-enclosed porch in front of the house – the only place where Mimi would allow them to practice. George died of a liver hemorrhage in 1955. They never had children, but Mimi reportedly said that although she never wanted children she "always wanted John." When John's parents, Julia and Fred, separated, Julia took John to live with her lover, John Albert "Bobby" Dykins (who would father John's half-sisters, Julia and Jacqueline). Mimi complained about the house being inappropriate for John, going so far as to report Julia's living arrangements to Liverpool's Social Services, and she eventually convinced Julia that John would be better off with her. In all accounts of Mimi, she is described as strict, stern, frosty, critical of Lennon's girlfriends, wives, and friends, but her first priority was always John. One of the places that Mimi took John as a child was to a Salvation Army house called "Strawberry Field." John would forever immortalize the house in the song, "Strawberry Fields Forever," which defined the psychedelic sound and appeared on The Beatles' 1967 album, "Magical Mystery Tour." Mimi and Julia first saw John perform with his band The Quarrymen at the Woolton St. Peter's Church fete on July 6th, 1957, the now-famous venue where John first met Paul McCartney. On July 15, 1958, Julia was killed when she was struck and killed by off-duty policeman Eric Clague, who was driving drunk, while she was standing at a bus stop. Mimi reportedly was inconsolable at the scene and was so upset when Clague was acquitted of all charges and only given a short suspension from duty that Mimi called Clague a "murderer" in court. She constantly discouraged John from pursuing a musical career, reportedly telling him, "Music's all right, but you'll never make a living out of it." She would do the same with her sister's grandson, Sean Ono Lennon, reportedly telling his mother Yoko Ono, "…as long as he keeps away from music, he will be all right." She believed this despite the legendary status of The Beatles in music history and all that their success gave to her: John arranged for a Beatles tour of New Zealand in 1964 so Mimi could visit her sister Harriet and their family. She remained there for five months. John bought her a beachfront bungalow in Dorset in 1965 as Beatles fans were constantly surrounding her house in Mendips. In later years, Yoko Ono bought Mendips and donated it to The National Trust. The Trust converted the house to the way it looked when John lived there in the 1950s, being advised by John's cousin, Michael Cadwallader. After The Beatles became famous, Mimi reportedly criticized John for faking a Liverpudlian accent. She kept the family from attending John's first wedding to Cynthia Powell in August 1962 and she was not fond of Yoko, either. Mimi was the one who held John's MBE (Member of the British Empire) medal, awarded to The Beatles in 1965, on top of her television, until John asked for it back in 1969 to return to Queen Elizabeth to protest the government's policy in Viet Nam and the poor performance of his latest single, among other reasons. Although John would never return to England after he moved to New York City in 1971, he kept in touch with Mimi, phoning her at least once every week, sometimes twice weekly. The last time she spoke with John was the night before he was assassinated, where he told her, "I'll be seeing you soon, Mimi. I can't wait to see you." She learned of his death the next morning on the news. She died at home while being cared for by a home nurse. According to the nurse, Lynne Varcoe, she helped Mimi into bed after she collapsed in the bathroom, and Mimi's last words were, "Hello, John." (bio by: Donna Di Giacomo) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  George Toogood Smith (1903 - 1955)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Poole Crematorium *
Broadstone
Poole Unitary Authority
Dorset, England
*Cremation location
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Donna Di Giacomo
Record added: Nov 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 61206476
Mary Elizabeth Mimi <i>Stanley</i> Smith
Added by: Anonymous
 
Mary Elizabeth Mimi <i>Stanley</i> Smith
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You were an amazing woman <3
- Imagine Peace ✌️
 Added: Sep. 14, 2014

- Antonio DosSantos
 Added: Sep. 7, 2014

- ~ Liliana ~
 Added: Aug. 24, 2014
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