Gladys Roberta (Patrick) Smith, 93, died Dec. 2, 2004, at her home of natural causes.
Her funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday at First Lutheran Church with the Rev. Brad Ulgenes officiating. Burial will follow at the Highland Cemetery. A fellowship luncheon will be held at the church immediately after the graveside service.
Gladys was born Feb 9, 1911, to Charles and Sadie (Gale) Patrick at LaBelle, Mo. In 1915 the family of then four children with their parents homesteaded north of Rudyard. Gladys was the second oldest of 15 children. She was raised and educated in the Goldstone area, graduating from Rudyard High School in 1928.
Gladys married Marvin R. Smith in 1933 and they had three children.
Gladys continued her education at Northern Montana College, receiving a one-year teaching degree in 1931. Her first job at Swift School included three siblings among 28 students. Over the years Gladys taught at Zurich, Rocky Boy and Shambo, and in 1950 transferred to Havre Public Schools as an elementary classroom teacher. She also served as a principal at Washington School. In 1962 Gladys was elected as Hill County superintendent of schools, a position she held until 1968, and then returned to the classroom. Gladys retired from active teaching in 1971, continuing to substitute, doing speaking engagements and serving as Guest Artist in the Classroom for many years.
Gladys loved sports. She played basketball in high school and college, and pitched horse shoes with her brother and friends. She joined the Havre Golf League, bowled at Big Sandy and Havre, and loved playing softball in the Havre Women's League. She was known for her pitching ability and was inducted into the Montana Softball Hall of Fame in 1988. Her softball career ended at the age of 72 after 30 years of playing.
In the summer Gladys grew a large garden of vegetables and flowers. She sold her vegetables at the Farmer's Market from Smith's Gardens, and her flowers were entered for judging at the Great Northern Fair. Her other hobbies included collecting barbed wire, antiques and match box holders.
Gladys was an avid bridge player and received the highest honor in 1981 as a life master. She loved working with her hands, and crocheted, sculptured and oil painted. Gladys wanted the family to be aquainted with one another, so she organized the first family reunion in 1977 and it has continued every four years.
Gladys was affiliated with the Home Demonstration Club and the Eagles, from which she received a 50-year recognition. With niece Linda Patrick Hayes, she co-authored "Footstep Across Years 1911-1992, an Autobiography," which is on display at the Montana Historical Society. She also produced a family quarterly newspaper, the Patrick Post, and appeared on television on Dec 30, 1960, on the "Charge Account" with Jan Murray and appeared again in 1995 in an interview on a Spokane, Wash., TV station.
She was preceded in death by her parents; an infant brother; husband Marvin Smith in 1962; two children, Karen Taylor in 1993, and Richard Smith in 2004; brothers, Ralph, Russell, Floyd, Clarence, Cecil, Clifford and Richard.
Gladys is survived by her daughter, Maureen Dolan of Havre; brothers, Raymond, Wayne and Bernard Patrick of Havre, and Don Patrick of Grafton, Iowa; sisters, Ruth Meredith of Havre and Phyllis Gagnon of Chester; four grand children; and two great-grandchildren.
Memorials in Gladys' honor may be made to the MSU-Northern Foundation, P.O. Box 1691, Havre, MT 59501 or to Bear Paw Hospice, P.O. Box 1231, Havre, MT 59501. Services and arrangements are under the direction of Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.