Patricia and Gerald David "Firpo" Smith met while snow sledding shortly after his honorable discharge from the Navy in December 1947 and were married September 18, 1948, at the home of Patricia's aunt Marion Warren at 1008 S. Main. Patricia and Firpo remained married for 36 years until his death February 28, 1985. Patricia was fiercely devoted to Firpo and family; demonstrably so during Firpo's health issues which included a triple-bypass heart surgery and later failing health. An acquaintance 20-years their junior, talking about them recently as a couple, characterized Firpo as "a real cool dude" and Patricia as "more quiet" by comparison.
Patricia and Firpo were very proud and loving parents of their son Charles Robert (b. 1965) and the family spent most of its free time together. Patricia and Firpo would always attend Charles' little league baseball games, school activities, and later his high school football games. Aside from personal happiness, their primary goal (mandate) for Charles was that, unlike them, he would get a college degree (which he did).
Charles was at Patricia's bedside when she passed. Other family survivors include 21 nieces and nephews including Kathy Stegge Wright and Gary Frye of Kansas City MO, in-laws Gail Potter and Margaret Weatherbie of Fort Scott, Lucille Smith of Shawnee, Elizabeth Shannon of Ardmore OK, and Johnny Mitzner of Grove, OK, and a number of cousins including Sarah Kay Jackson and Virginia Carol Keal of Overland Park and Sujean Classen Jeffries of Middletown, RI. Also preceding Patricia in death was an infant son David Arnold Smith (April 3-11, 1949), a sister Mary Jean Stegge and brother-in-law Dudley formerly of Joplin, an infant brother George Robert Moore, as well as her parents and grandparents JB & Maggie Moore and John & Kate Harris.
Patricia's Moore ancestors had originally settled in Bourbon County circa 1860 near Devon and Patricia's great grandfather Joel Moore served in the Kansas legislature in the late 1860's (an uncle Harry Warren also later served in the Kansas legislature). Another pair of great grandparents emigrated from Scotland while some other ancestors came from present-day Northern Ireland. Patricia's family later operated the family grocery store until the 1960's. Among her small, but tight-knit group of relatives, Patricia was a niece of former Fort Scott Postmaster Burt Moore as well as a first cousin to former Bourbon County District Court Judge Charles Warren.
Also in 1948, Patricia began working at Western Insurance in Fort Scott, where she worked for most of her adult life including for Western's corporate successorsAmerican States and Safeco. Patricia survived the various mergers, acquisitions, and downsizings; retiring in 1998. Patricia worked as a secretary as well as in a number of other claims-related positions. In the latter part of her time with the company, Patricia would occasionally get assigned to out-of-town "storm duty" where she would travel to places that, for example, had been hit by a tornado or hail and she would help process claims and checks to policy holders. Through her professional life, Patricia made many friends and acquaintances young and old in Fort Scott and around the country and was very popular among her co-workers.
Growing up, Patricia and family attended the Methodist Church on National Ave. and later she, Firpo, and Charles attended the Presbyterian Church on Crawford Street. Patricia resided at her home on Eddy Street for over 50 years. Patricia and Firpo were both very proud to be from Fort Scott and content enough that it would've never occurred to them to live anywhere else.
Patricia was known for her beautiful smile ... someone recently observed that she "sparkled". Her eyes were hazel, but her eye color would sometimes change in the light and appeared grey. She had a large nose (though not unattractive); a smaller, more feminine version of her cousin JB Moore's nose. Patricia liked to read and would've done well had she attended university as she possessed a good work ethic and the necessary discipline. Patricia liked to laugh which would've drawn her to Firpo. Like others in her family, Patricia possessed a smart-ass streak though perhaps less-so being a mother and as she got older. Patricia recently said of her family and the 6-to-10 relatives who lived next door with others down the street: "that to get along in the family, you had to be either quiet or real boisterous."
Rev. Chuck Russell will conduct services at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 30th, at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Burial will follow in the U. S. National Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 1:00 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the Chapel. The family encourages private sector community financial support for an area-wide dialysis treatment facility at Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott. Currently, Fort Scott-area dialysis patients must travel to Pittsburg three times per week for their 3+ hour dialysis treatments and to either Joplin or Kansas City for ANY type of overnight medical treatment. Following renal failure and starting dialysis treatments in October 2011, Patricia's quality of life improved markedly and she regretted not having started dialysis treatments sooner despite the treatment impediments. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Mercy Hospital Foundation "Fort Scott Dialysis", and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, P.O. Box 347, 201 S. Main, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.