‘Babs’ Smith, 80|
Catherine Barbara "Babs" Smith passed from this life to her eternal life on Feb. 17, 2017, at the age of 80 years, surrounded by her family. She grew up in Anniston, Ala., after being born in Birmingham, Ala., in 1936 to Alfred and Ethel Nagel. She met her husband, Stan Smith, in the summer of 1955 in Kirkwood, Mo., where they were married on Aug. 24, 1957. They both graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1958 and moved to Wisconsin, where Stan began his career in engineering and management with Wisconsin Bell/AT& T, and Babs taught in a Milwaukee elementary school until they began their family.
The couple raised three children, Brad, Carrie and Randy. The family lived in Milwaukee, Beloit, Wauwatosa, Racine and Appleton before moving to Mequon in 1977. They moved their family six times over 18 years, as Stan’s career took him to different locations in the state.
Babs was devoted to her children and to her family and friends throughout her life. Especially as the family resettled in new locations, she focused selflessly on supporting her husband’s busy career, nurturing her children’s active lives and providing stability for the entire family. She volunteered in schools and at church, where she combined community service with the ability to keep a watchful eye on everyone in the family.
After successfully seeing her kids through school, she enjoyed traveling with Stan, including several trips to Europe, and visiting children and grandchildren who lived across the country. She was an avid reader and a talented home decorator, not hesitating to spend a morning somehow rearranging furniture that weighed several times more than she did. For a number of years, she had children living in England or France, and for the 20 years that followed, she combined the best of both countries in the décor of her home.
Babs made herself available to her friends and always focused on taking an interest in them and their children. She had a razor-sharp ability to remember dates, names and facts, and she combined this with a Southern sense of graciousness to address other people’s needs. Together with Stan, she was an active and devoted member of Crossroads Presbyterian Church for four decades.
Babs is survived by her husband Stan and her children: Brad (Kathy) Smith of Bellevue, Wash.; Carrie (John) Gustafson of Houston and Randall (Lori) Smith of Fort Collins, Colo.; six grandchildren: Greg, Julia, Kristin, Jayne, Meghan and Sarah; and two great-grandchildren , Nathan and Cole. She is also survived by her loving younger sister, Suzi Bowman.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, 2017, at Crossroads Presbyterian Church, 6031 W. Chapel Hill Road in Mequon.
Friends may greet the family following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Crossroads Presbyterian Church or the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Foundation.
The family is being served by Schmidt & Bartelt Funeral and Cremation Service, 10280 N. Port Washington Road, Mequon, 262-2418085,www.schmidtandbartelt.com.