SALINA, Kan. -- Dr. Katharine Virginia Bickford Smith, 71, died Tuesday (Jan. 14, 2003) at the Salina Regional Health Center in Salina, Kan.
She was born Feb. 24, 1931, in Kansas City, Mo., to Donnel and Catherine (Kenney) Pearson. She was raised in Tonganoxie, Kan. She received her bachelors degree from Kansas University, her masters degree from Fort Hays State University and doctor of philosophy from Kansas State University. She began working in Oberlin as the school nurse for USD No. 294 in 1970. She began teaching at FHSU full-time in 1980. After retirement, she resided in El Dorado, Kan., and Salina.
She was chairman of the Special Education Department at FHSU from 1988-95; chairman of the Teacher Education Department until 1996; was Affirmative Action officer at FHSU for 1988-90; and received a 1989 Pilot Award. She was actively involved in the Council for Exceptional Children and served as president of the Kansas Chapter.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husbands, Kenneth Bickford in 1969, and Galen Smith in 1992; and one brother, Richard Pearson.
Survivors include two sons, Brian Bickford of Salina and Brice Bickford of Olathe, Kan.; two daughters, Cecilia Goebel of El Dorado and Elizabeth Estes of Baton Rouge, La.; one stepson, Craig Smith; stepdaughters, Gwen Graham of Chesterton, Ind, and Kim Nichols of Marysville, Calif.; one brother, John Pearson of La Jolla, Calif.; 17 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Saturday, 11 a.m., at the Oberlin United Methodist Church in Oberlin with the Rev. Doug Hasty officiating. Interment will be in the Oberlin Cemetery at Oberlin.
Visitation is Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., at the funeral home with family receiving friends from 6-8 p.m., and Saturday after 8 a.m. at the church.
Memorials may be given in her name to the FHSU Endowment Association for a memorial scholarship.
Pauls Funeral Home of Oberlin is in charge of arrangements.