Homemaker, ’59,’ bustled over family, garden, pets
Olga Smith had her hands full some days, keeping four boys under control while her husband worked at the glass factory in Arnold.
“I was always taste-tasting Ivory soap and Palmolive,” said her son Tom Smith of Arnold. “She kept us in line.”
Olga Smith of Arnold, a self-described “tough old Croatian,” died of natural causes Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. She was 90.
Born Oct. 11, 1924, in the Bairdford neighborhood of West Deer to the late John and Zanita Sapick Kovacevich, she was a 1941 graduate of Springdale High School and a member of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in New Kensington.
Mrs. Smith enjoyed going to Mountaineer Resort in West Virginia with her longtime friend, the late Betty Rapp of Arnold, in their version of a road trip movie.
“Betty did the driving,” said her son Chuck Smith of Arnold. His mother served as co-pilot.
She refused to grow old, her family said. Asked about her age, she often replied, “59.”
Mrs. Smith loved hummingbirds and had about 100 porcelain specimens in her collection, her son said.
She was in her glory at the family’s camp in Cowansville.
“The hummingbirds are like robins up there,” said her son Tom. “My dad was into fishing; she was into hummingbirds.”
Mrs. Smith was an excellent cook and baker and enjoyed growing flowers, often sharing gardening duties with her daughter-in-law Debbie, whom she called “Littler Bubba.”
“It was something we always did together,” Debbie Smith said. “I was real close to her. … She was very sweet.”
“Geraniums were her favorite,” said Chuck Smith, Debbie’s husband.
An animal lover, Mrs. Smith considered animals “little people in fur coats” and always had a dog when her sons were young. Later in life, she added cats.
Mrs. Smith was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph Meyer Smith, who died in 1994.
Aside from sons Tom Smith and Chuck Smith, she is survived by sons Joseph M. Smith of Kittanning and Florida, and John E. Smith of Cowansville; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in Ross G. Walker Funeral Home Ltd., 217 Freeport Road, New Kensington, where a funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday. Private entombment will follow in Greenwood Mausoleum, Lower Burrell.
Memorial donations may be made to Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley, 533 Linden Ave., New Kensington, PA 15068.
Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646or email@example.com.