|Death: ||Sep. 4, 2007|
Clinton Elementary students went home yesterday with letters sharing the sad news of a teacher's death and information on meningitis.
Teresa Anne Smoak died Tuesday of meningococcal meningitis, said Franklin County Coroner Brad Lewis. It's an inflammation of the spinal cord and brain caused by the bacteria Neisseria meningitidis.
Smoak, 57, went to the emergency room at the Ohio State University Medical Center with a fever, Lewis said last night. Tests run by Lewis' office confirmed that she died of meningitis.
The school's Web site says Smoak was a fifth-grade science and social-studies teacher. She had worked for Columbus schools for 35 years, 28 of those at Clinton.
"You never met a nicer person. All you would have to say was her name and people would smile," said Kim Driscoll, who said Smoak taught two of her three children at Clinton. "There was never a time that you would look at that woman and she wouldn't have a smile on her face.
"You just loved being in her presence."
Driscoll, whose daughter, Kate, now 17, and son Timothy, 10, both were taught social studies by Smoak, said her children were devastated by her death.
"She was such a gem. I am just very saddened by it," Driscoll said. "This was her final year of teaching. She was looking very forward to being retired."
SMOAK Teresa Anne (Toles) Smoak, 57, Tuesday, September 4, 2007, at OSU Medical Center. A graduate of The Ohio State University with a Master degree in Education. Employed with the Columbus Public School System as an early childhood education teacher for 35 years; 28 of those years were at Clinton Elementary School. Preceded in death by maternal grandparents James and Clara Ross, Uncle James D. Ross, Aunt Erma Jean Allen, sister Janet Toles. Survived by parents, Ed and Stella Toles; husband, Keith Samuel (Donyelle) Smoak; son, Keith Samuel Smoak II; grandson, Tavion Carr, all of Columbus, Oh.; mother-in-law, Rosetta H, Smoak of El Paso, TX; brothers, Ted (Janis) Toles of Fayetteville, Ga. and Edison W. Toles Jr. of Indianapolis, Ind.; sisters, Brenda (Curtis) Wiggins of Louisville, Ky. and Carla (David) Anthony of Columbus, Oh.; brother-in-law, Sidney (Lola) Smoak of Tempe, AZ; uncles, Earl J., Frank R., Leo (Katherine) and Robert (Elizabeth) Ross, Terrence Allen; aunts, Janet M. (Donald) Fraime, Agnes Ross and Barbara J. Smoak, all of Columbus, OH.; a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends.
Saint Joseph Cemetery
Created by: Chargrr
Record added: Sep 07, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 21422780