Bertha Pauline (Smith) Barker
Bertha Pauline Wright Smith Barker was born in Ringling, Oklahoma September 3, 1926 to Tom and Beulah Wright. She died at Grace Care Center in Henrietta, TX on December 22, 2017, at the age of 91 after a lengthy illness of Alzheimer's.
She was one of 9 children, all of which are deceased except her younger sister, Doris.
On April 11, 1943, she married J.W. Smith Jr. in Waurika, Oklahoma. They had three children, Gwen, Ann and Ron. After WWII they settled in the Irving community and lived there where they farmed until J.W.'s death in 1989.
Pauline cooked at the Irving School until it closed. It was during that time that Pauline finished her high school education where her children had the pleasure of seeing her receive her diploma in 1952.
After time she worked the Levi Strauss factory in Wichita Falls. When the Haggar Slack company put in a factory in Temple, she was hired to work as a final inspector for many years. She carpooled with neighbors including Katie Taylor and Lena Hughes. It would have been great to have been a little mouse and listen into those conversations as the ladies drove to and from work each day. Lasting friendships were formed.
Pauline also spent many summers working in the melon fields and helping grade melons for shipping. It was a busy time in she and J.W.'s lives, but she never shied away from hard work.
Later she trained to become a tag agent for the Ryan-Terrel area as well as other parts of Jefferson County. She loved the challenge as well as the daily contact she had with the public. She was very much a people person. She also loved clothes and was known for being well put together. She had a small boutique/resale shop as well in the tag office. She always had her hair done and was always up with the latest fashions. Her grandchildren loved that about her. When out at the farm in Irving, we could hear and see her coming down the road in her Mercury. You could see the dust as she drove. J.W. would say here she comes! We also remember a time when she shot a rattle snake that was in a tree trunk right in front of the grandchildren. Another favorite thing to do was go in her room and try all of her shoes on which were many!
After J.W. passed in 1989, she married again. She met J.W. Barker after he had been widowed. They were married in November 1991. They lived in Ryan Oklahoma for a time and then decided to move to Medicine Lodge Kansas for a time. Health issues brought them back to Ryan eventually. J.W. passed away December 5, 2013.
She was an active member of the Irving Baptist Church as well as the Ryan Baptist Church after moving to Ryan. She loved the fellowship with the community and was very active in the Senior Center. Pauline was instrumental in establishing the center and donated many hours serving on the Area Council for Aging. One night each week was set aside for playing "42" at the Center. Lots of fun and laughter was enjoyed at that place.
She loved her family and friends. Many Sunday nights after church, one could find the families of Katie and LB Taylor, Roe and Billie Johnson, Frances and LG Hargis and the Smiths at anyone of the homes visiting, eating or playing "42". All of the kids were likely outside playing any one of a number of running games. Lots of memories were made during those years. Those families also enjoyed vacationing together, setting trot lines in the Red River or spending weekends at either Lake Texoma or Lake Murray. Lots of Fish fries were the results of those good times. Pauline was also a Democratic party precinct chairman for Irving, member of the chamber of commerce.
Pauline was known for her cranberry salad, which she was in charge of for the community fundraiser dinners to support the center. That recipe has been handed down and is still a family must at Thanksgiving and Christmas today. Nobody made a prettier nor more delicious chocolate or coconut cream pie. The meringue was like no other. Ask any grandchild about those pies! The grandchildren remember being in the kitchen "helping" and trying to get a spoon or a beater to get a taste of some sweet goodie. The holidays were very special and she would always want your opinion on the taste of something.
Pauline is survived by her 3 children, Gwen Key (husband Kenneth Key) of Wichita Falls Texas, Ann Cargill of Medicine Lodge Kansas, and Ron Smith (wife Nancy Smith) of Amarillo TX. As well as grandchildren Stephanie Ryan, Tiffany Gilmore, Jason Smith, Chad Cargill and Jayme Lyn Chaney. She also leaves behind 5 great grandchildren, Cole, Kate, Sierra, Carson, and baby Harrison.
Although Pauline has been unable to verbally communicate for quite some time one could see glimpses of the twinkle in her eyes and on her face which gave us all hope that she knew who we were.
Funeral services will be at 1:30 PM, Tuesday, December 26, at the Dudley Funeral Home Chapel in Waurika, with Mike Bates officiating. Burial will follow in the Waurika Cemetery under the direction of Dudley Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Irving Baptist Church or the Grace Care Center in Henrietta, Texas. Condolences may be sent to www.dudleyfuneralhomes.com.