|Birth: ||May 10, 1915|
|Death: ||Feb. 17, 2010|
Anchorage Daily News February 20, 2010
Longtime Alaskan Hazel A. Smith died of natural causes Feb. 17, 2010, in Anchorage. She was 94. A vigil was held at Evergreen Memorial Chapel. A funeral Mass was at Holy Family Cathedral. A reception was held afterward in the parish hall.
She was born May 10, 1915, in Plevna, Mont., to Phil and Helen Huber. After high school, she attended the College of St. Benedict, graduating in 1936. Later, while pursuing graduate studies in Missoula, Mont., she met the love of her life, Frank E. Smith. The two were married in 1938 and remained inseparably together until Frank's death in 1992. In 1943, the Civil Aeronautics Administration trained the couple in air traffic control and sent them to Alaska to work on the World War II lend-lease program. They were stationed in Summit, Northway, King Salmon (twice) and Annette Island, finally settling in Cordova in 1953. When no school was available, Hazel home-schooled the children. In 1954, she returned to the classroom as an elementary teacher in Cordova. In 1962, the family moved to Anchorage, where she taught for the Anchorage School District until her retirement. She taught first grade at Rabbit Creek Elementary and was active in her professional association. As a teacher, she was committed, creative and compassionate. She offered the miracle of literacy to hundreds of Alaska's children, using teaching techniques pioneered by Beth Slingerland. She was a special advocate for dyslexic children and led the School District's efforts to develop a curriculum to serve them. After retiring, she continued educating as a tutor, as a district contractor evaluating screening tests, and through the university (teaching teachers and adults). For her outstanding educational leadership, Eagle Crest Academy established the Hazel Smith Award for Lifelong Service to Students with Dyslexia. In 1999, she was the first recipient. She was also honored with certificates of appreciation, including special recognition from the Anchorage School District, the Municipality of Anchorage and the Alaska Legislature on the occasion of her 90th birthday in 2005. Hazel was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church in 1936 and remained a devout and devoted member of the church. Frank Sr. and Hazel were also active with the Catholic Youth Organization during the 1960s, for which they received the Pro Deo Et Juven Tuam (For God and Youth) award. "More than anything, her family was her primary source of joy and her constant passion," her family said. "She was our anchor, and the center of our devotion. Through both precept and example, she taught us how to love, how to share, and how to remain loyal to steadfast values. She was our advocate, and our inspiration. She was the glue that held us together, especially when loss and difficult challenges touched our lives." She spent her final years at Inn-Tegrity Assisted Living Home. There, she received devoted, loving care from Linda Johnson and her staff, and enjoyed visits from her family and trips to dine at Club Paris or get her hair done. She was at Inn-Tegrity when she died. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Francis E. Smith Sr.; her son, Francis E. Smith Jr., and her infant daughter, Kristin Smith.
She is survived by her son, Philip Smith (and wife Deborah); her daughter, Aleen; her granddaughter, Elizabeth "Pomi" Kershaw (and husband Jeff); her granddaughter, Deborah Walsh (and husband Ben); her grandson, Christopher Smith; her grandson, Crispian Smith (and husband Jeroen van Dalen); her granddaughter, Moira Smith (and husband Jake Metcalfe); and her granddaughters, Kristin Smith and Adriana McGarry; five great-grandchildren; and two step-great-grandsons. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the charity of the donor's choice. Hazel was particularly committed to the Mission to Magadan (Archdiocese of Anchorage, 225 Cordova St., Anchorage 99510) and to the Sister Clarus Himsl Scholarship Fund (College of St. Benedict, 37 S. College Ave., St. Joseph, MN 56374). Visit the online memorial at legacy.com
Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery
Created by: Nancy K
Record added: Jul 23, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 55332892