Monday, March 8, 2021

Obituary of Ruth Henderson Smith

Name of Deceased Ruth Henderson Smith
Date of Death 03/26/2010
Date of Birth 12/11/1914
Funeral Home na

Ruth Elaine Henderson Smith, long-time resident of State College, died Friday, March 26 in Fort Collins, Colo. She was born Dec. 11, 1914 in Hardy, Neb.

Ruth is survived by her four children, all graduates of State College High School, Colborn William Smith and wife Kathryn Dunn, of Amherst, Mass., Elaine Yvonne Smith Hawkins and husband Hunt, of Tampa, Fla., Maureen Bird Smith Hoffert and husband Robert, of Fort Collins, and Deborah Gates Smith Randzio and husband Albert, of Southwick, Mass. Her loving family also included eight grandchildren of whom she was most proud, Cartney and Mikaela Smith, Samuel and Amelia Hawkins, Shoshana Hoffert and fiancŽ Chris Briseno, and Amanda and husband Ryan Gilmartin, and Kassia and Jesse Randzio and wife Gauri Luthra. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 67 years, William Martin Smith, Jr., professor emeritus of Rural Sociology at Penn State.

Ruth graduated in 1936 from the University of Nebraska, she attended Cornell University where in 1938 she earned a Masters of Science in Housing and Home Management and taught for the New York State Extension Service. In 1947, she moved with her family to State College where she pursued a successful career as a professor of Housing in the department of Housing and Home Art at Pennsylvania State University. A nationally recognized and widely published expert in the field of Family Housing and Home Management, Ruth was a charter member and President of the American Housing Educators' Association. An active citizen of State College for over 50 years, she was a member of P.E.O., A.A.U.W., and St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, and served many years on both the borough planning commission and the appearance and design board.

A memorial service will be held in Massachusetts. Contributions may be made in memory of Ruth and Bill Smith to the Schlow Centre Region Library, 211 South Allen Street, State College, PA 16801. Please visit to sign the family guest book and send condolences.