Olga Eva Smith
Garnand Funeral Home
Olga Eva Smith died Sunday, July 28, 2013 in the Morton County Hospital. She was a resident of the Morton County Care Center in Elkhart, Kansas. Olga lived 96 years. Olga Eva Smith was born April 17, 1917 on the Ruffins Estate near Petersburg, Virginia to Paul Benjamin Heyman and Anna Bertha Radtke. She had an older brother, Paul Benjamin Heyman, Jr. and a younger brother, Howard Alvin Heyman.
From traveling in horse and buggy and trains to automobiles and planes, Olga has seen many changes throughout her lifetime. She was a member of the world’s greatest generation. She persevered through the dust bowl days, the depression and World War II. She survived tornados, blizzards, floods and droughts. She made the sacrifices necessary to survive.
Olga’s family moved from Petersburg, Virginia to Hutchinson, Kansas by rail in 1920. Olga attended Hutchinson schools until 1928. Her parents traded their Hutchinson home for a quarter section of land one mile west of Richfield, Kansas. Olga spent one year on the farm west of Richfield but moved back to Hutchinson for the next two years for school.
Olga spent her junior year of high school back in Richfield but moved to Meadville, Pennsylvania during her senior year to live with her step-grandmother. She graduated high school from Meadville, Pennsylvania. Due to the Depression, she moved back to Richfield in 1934 where she began to work at the AAA office. She also joined the Richfield Methodist Church.
While working at the AAA office, Olga met John B. Smith. They were married August 20, 1936 in Tribune, Kansas. Their first home was on a leased farm south of Holly, Colorado. In 1938, they rented and moved to the Evans Farm southwest of Richfield on the North Fork of the Cimarron. They later purchased this farm and it remains the headquarters for the present Smith family. Grandsons Martin and Byron Smith live there today. In 1958, John and Olga moved to Elkhart where they built a new home at 119 Coronado.
It is hard to think of Olga and not think of her deceased husband, John. They were partners for thirty-six years. John died October 8, 1974. They were a team and always supported each other. They loved to travel.
John and Olga had two sons, John B. Jr. and Howard C. In the early 1960’s, John and Howard formed a partnership with their parents and continued the farming and cattle operation.
Son John and wife Shirley, son Howard and wife, Janis, five grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren survive Olga.
During Olga’s early years on the farm, she cooked for the hired help, maintained the books, drove tractors and helped herd cattle. She always had a big garden. Besides her duties on the farm, she stayed active in the community belonging to many clubs, including BPW, Taloga HDU, Coterie, Morton County Hospital Auxiliary, National Wood Carvers Association, Tri-State Art Association and the Hi-Plains Investment Club. She served as president of the Hi-Plains Investment Club many years.
Olga was an accomplished artist. She took correspondence courses from the Famous Artist School from which she graduated. She drew and painted various scenic and flower pictures in various mediums. She won numerous awards for her paintings. While residing in the Care Center, Olga created many pastel chalk drawings.
There can be many ways to describe Olga, but the best way has to be by her great-grandson, Jack Smith, who called her “one tough cookie”. With what Olga accomplished throughout her 96 years she was definitely “one tough cookie”. She resided the past four years in the Morton County Care Center.
Funeral service will be held at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at the United Methodist Church in Elkhart, Kansas with Reverend Dennis Reimer and Pastor Jim Cunningham officiating. Interment will follow at the Elkhart Cemetery. Friends may call from 2:00 PM until 8:00 PM on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at Garnand Funeral Home in Elkhart, Kansas. The family requests memorials be given to the Morton County Care Center or donor’s choice in care of Garnand Funeral Home, PO Box 854, Elkhart, KS 67950.