Jean Smith


Dr. Jean Amelia Smith went home to be with Jesus and her heavenly family June 1, 2017. She was born to T. K. and Gladys Hurst Smith Nov. 17, 1921, in Charleston, South Carolina.

Jean graduated from high school in 1940 from Columbus High School. She received her bachelor’s degree in 1944 and master’s degree in 1945 from MacMurray School for Women, which is now co-ed.

After teaching several years in Kalamazoo, Michigan, she returned to Columbus to attend Indiana University and work toward her Doctorate of Physical Education, which she received in 1953 with honors.

Jean then moved to San Marcus, Texas, where she was associate professor and then Professor of Physical Education for 36 years at Southwest Texas State University. During Jean’s tenure, the university was given the opportunity to train Peace Corp. volunteers at the request of L.B.J., SWT being his alma mater. She was asked to be chairman of this program which gave her the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. and Costa Rica to help train these individuals.

Jean was very involved in professional and civic activities in Texas including the Association for Health Physical Education, serving as the recreation district secretary, Pi Lambda Theta, Delta Psi Kappa, Texas Tuberculosis Association, Girl Scouts of America, Red Cross, United Fund and Business and Professional Women’s Club. Jean also received the Chamber of Commerce award in 1959 as Outstanding Woman of the Year. Jean was instrumental with forming the first Texas Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.

During her working and retired life, she loved teaching, mentoring, camping and traveling extensively through the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia and Mexico with family and friends.

She was a member of First Christian Church in both San Marcos, Texas and Cleveland, Texas.

The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at the Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home with Dan Wallace officiating. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until time of service Wednesday at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Garland Brook Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Grain Train or the Lutheran Community Home Foundation through the funeral home.

Survivors include sister, Mary Ellen Boll of Lynnwood, Washington; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Fielding, William and Robert Smith; and an infant sister, Evelyn.