Obituary of Hilda "Misty Morn" Smith
Hilda Sykes Smith (Misty Morn) departed this life peacefully on November 28, 2015, after a decline caused by Alzheimer's disease, she was 88 years old. Hilda was born on October 31, 1927 to Gradie McKinley Sykes and Blanche (Hill) Sykes. Raised in New York City, she showed an early interest in the performing arts, and was in and around show business for most of her life. She performed at Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Madison Square Garden among other venues. She studied acting at New York City College, and the Stella Adler Institute. Hilda's interests also included physical fitness. She graduated from Long Island University in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education, and shortly thereafter began work as a social worker for the Bureau of Child Welfare in New York City. In May of 1952, Hilda married the man who would be by her side for the rest of her life, Leroy Smith. Leroy and Hilda were blessed with two children, Roy Sheldon Smith, and Kelli Karen Smith. In 1961, Hilda became well known as radio personality, Misty Morn. As a DJ for radio stations WFHA and WHBI Misty interviewed and performed with a number of celebrities including, Sammy Davis Jr., Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra, Bonnie Franklin and many others. During this time, Misty also was a modeling instructor at Scotts Beauty School and Mildred Thomas Studio of Music. In 1969, Misty and her dear friend, Bal-zac opened Bal-zac & Misty Morn Studio in West Orange, New Jersey. Misty also served as Director of Center Stage Performing Arts Studio in Mt. Tabor, New Jersey. In addition to being a member of United Bodywork and Massage Practioners Inc., The American Guild of Variety Artists, and The Screen Actors Guild, Misty served on the Advisory Board of the Dance and Recreation Department of County College of Morris. Throughout her life, she taught others the importance of good nutrition and life long exercise, even authoring a book titled E.A.S.Y. Hilda Smith/ Misty Morn was considered by many to be a great beauty. Those that knew her best knew the physical beauty readily apparent on the outside was no match for the inner beauty and strength of character she possessed on the inside. Her sense of humor, love of life, and pragmatic wisdom were readily shared with everyone she encountered. Although she will be greatly missed, her love of humanity, spirit of kindness, and grace live on through her survivors. Her husband of 63 years, Leroy Smith, her brother, Ronnie Owens and his wife Darlene, her two children, Roy and Kelli, her business partner, Bal-zac and countless relatives, friends and neighbors. In lieu of flowers, please make donation in Hilda/Misty's memory to Alzheimer's Association, 7 Ridgedale Avenue, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07927.