Anne Ripley Smith Passed Away June 1st, 1949

Anne Ripley Smith Passed Away June 1st, 1949

Smitty shares about his mother; Anne Smith

by Bob Smith Jr.

Anne Ripley Smith passed away on June 1st, 1949. Anne the wife of AA co-founder Dr. Bob Smith, was instrumental in the conception of Alcoholics Anonymous. She cooked, cleaned, and cared for the newly sober alcoholics along with their families. Here is an excerpt from Henrietta D, AA Number 3 Bill D.’s wife:

On Friday night when I went to the house on Ardmore Avenue, I met the most thoughtful, understanding person I have ever known. After talking with her a while, I addressed her as Mrs. Smith and she said; “Anne to you, my dear.”

Anne taught me to have a “quiet time” in the morning that I might feel near to God and receive strength for the day. She taught me to surrender my husband to God and not to try to tell him how to stay sober, as I had tried that and failed. Anne taught me to love everyone. She said, “Ask yourself, what is wrong with me today if I don’t love you?” She said, “The love of God is triangular. It must flow from God through me, through you, and back to God.”

In the early part of 1936, Anne organized a “women’s group” for wives of alcoholics, whereby in her loving way she tried to teach us patience, love, and unselfishness. When I met and talked with this intelligent deeply spiritual woman I was completely sold on A.A.

-Henrietta D.

Anne S. dedicated her life to serving others, to helping families, and to encouraging individuals to build their relationships with each other and with God. She was truly loved by everyone who knew her. The support she gave Dr. Bob was only a small illustration of Anne’s character. When Dr. Bob made his farewell talk at AA’s First International Convention held just one year after Anne’s death, he said, “Our 12 Steps, when simmered down to the last, resolve themselves into the words ‘LOVE AND SERVICE.'” There are no words that better describe the life of Anne S.

In her book Lois Remembers, Lois Wilson said: “Annie’s part in the formation of AA and consequently in the foundation of Al-Anon should never be forgotten, especially by family group members. Although there were few family groups during the thirteen years of her activity, Annie did much to instill the spirit of Al-Anon in many of the families of alcoholics. God bless Annie’s memory.”

-The passages above are quoted from the book “We Recovered Too” by Michael Fitzpatrick.

This book is available for purchase at

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