Katherine W. Smith
COLUMBIA — Katherine W. Smith served for many years at the First Baptist Church in Columbia and was one of the first woman deacons at the church. She also loved sports and was a big fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Missouri football team.
“She was a very, very funny woman, and she was very smart,” her son, Donald W. Smith, said. “She graduated from the University of Missouri in 1936 and was a big MU sports fan. She lived most of her life in Columbia. She loved Columbia.”
Katherine W. Smith died Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, at the Bluffs in Columbia. She was 95.
She was born on Nov. 15, 1915, in Carrollton, Mo., to Charles Carroll and Myrtle Taylor Williamson. She married Walter Leroy Smith on Dec. 18, 1942. He died earlier.
Mrs. Smith graduated from University High School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from MU in 1936. She was employed by the Army Air Corps during World War II and worked for six years at the College of Agriculture Dean’s Office at MU in the 1970s.
She was an active member of First Baptist Church for many years, serving on the Board of Deacons and the Board of Trustees. She was a member of Chapter IT of P.E.O. Sisterhood, a life member of the MU Alumni Association and a life member of the University Fortnightly Club. Mrs. Smith also did a great deal of volunteering, especially with the American Red Cross.
Her son remembers a trip he took with his mother to New York in 1963, when he was 12 or 13 years old. They took a train from the Wabash station in Columbia, traveled to St. Louis, then to Chicago and New York City. They went to see the Broadway play "Barefoot in the Park" with Robert Redford, back when Redford wasn’t famous yet, Smith said. They took the Staten Island Ferry for a nickel, went shopping on Fifth Avenue and spent two days at the World’s Fair.
“She loved shopping for shoes,” Smith said.
After visiting New York City, Mrs. Smith and her son went to Washington, D.C., where the bus left them right in front of the White House. Because security measures were less strict, they could walk freely around the Capitol Building, Donald W. Smith remembers.
“That was a great trip,” he said.
Mrs. Smith was a big sports fan, her son said. She supported the St. Louis Cardinals, and she would travel with her husband to attend MU football games.
“She would be very excited to see what’s happening right now with the Cardinals in the World Series,” Smith said.
Mrs. Smith is survived by two sons, Donald W. Smith and his wife, Kristen, of Leawood, Kan., and Gregory W. Smith and his wife, Jan, of Columbia.
A memorial service will be at noon Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2011, at the First Baptist Church at 1112 E. Broadway. Visitation is from 11 a.m. to noon at the church.
Memorials can be made to the First Baptist Church. Condolences may be made at parkerfuneralservice.com.