Charlotte Faith Smith passed away unexpectantly at St. Alphonsus Hospital on March 5, 2018 surrounded by her loving family after a brief illness. Faith was born in Rock Springs, WY on February 9, 1937 to Josephine Faith Brown McMahon and Oliver ‘Rocky’ McMahon. She was soon joined by her two brothers, Keith and Rocky. When Faith was 4, her father got a job working in the Lost Soldier Oil Fields between Rawlins and Casper, Wyoming. Initially they settled in Lamont, WY and lived in the only home with indoor plumbing and electric lights. From there they moved into their own home at Wertz Gas Refinery company housing. Faith’s childhood was spent reading and exploring the prairies and mountains surrounding her home. She went to school in a two-room school house and loved listening to the older kids’ lessons and was an enthusiastic learner. When it came time for high school, the kids in the area received an isolation allowance from the state to allow them to go to a larger town for high school. At 14 years of age, Faith boarded the train in Rawlins by herself, heading off to attend St. Scholastica’s Academy in Canyon City, CO. It was the beginning of a wonderful four years for Faith that she always treasured. She learned to play classical piano, she became a favorite actress in the school plays, received a wonderful education and made lifelong friends. It also formed the foundation for her deep faith that helped her in difficult times.
After graduating high school, Faith attended Creighton University on a full scholarship for her freshman year. During summer break she visited her brother at a boarding house in Lander, WY where she heard a beautiful song coming from the back porch. Upon investigating she found Gene cleaning fish and singing. She was instantly drawn to his beautiful voice, his striking blue eyes and his shy demeanor. They became inseparable and were wed on December 14, 1956 in Rawlins, WY at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.
They moved to Wheatland, Wyoming where they started their family with a daughter, Debbie, followed by a son, Ron. Faith was a devoted wife and mother, choosing to stay home and raise her family. She was an excellent seamstress, making most of the clothes for the family. She passed her love of sewing on to Debbie. She was an avid baseball fan, especially when Ron was playing. She never missed a game that he played in. Ten years after the birth of her first child, Faith and Gene was thrilled to learn she was pregnant again. Their joy ended abruptly four months later with a miscarriage. Driven by this loss, she decided to go back to college and earn a degree in education.
In 1970, the family moved to Cheyenne, WY. For the next two years, Faith juggled family, daily commutes to Laramie, and correspondence courses to earn her degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wyoming in 1972. She began teaching in Cheyenne that fall. In 1979, she earned her Master of Education from the University of Wyoming. For the next 21 years, she was a dedicated elementary school teacher. Her favorite grade was 6th grade where she was able to prepare her students for the transition to junior high. She was known as a tough but fair teacher who brought out the best in every student. Former students often came back to visit or would catch her on the street to let her know what a wonderful impact she’d made on their lives. In the end, she turned her loss into a win for so many children.
Shortly after retiring, she moved to Eagle, ID in 1996 to be closer her daughter and grandchildren. She loved her time with her grandchildren, spending many days watching their games and performances. One of her passions was reading and she loved participating in different book clubs, reading books she might not have read on her own and discussing them with others.
Faith is survived by her two children, Debbie (Jim) Herrud of Eagle, ID and Ron (Julie) Smith of Orlando, FL, four grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Gene, her beloved husband of 61 years, preceded her in death by nineteen days. She is preceded in death by her father, Rocky, her mother, Jo, and brothers, Keith and Rocky. Her devotion to her children / grandchildren and her love of teaching and fostering learning have created a wonderful legacy for her.
After sharing their lives together for 61 years, it only seems appropriate that Faith and Gene share their funeral. A joint Funeral Mass for Faith and Gene will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at Holy Apostles Catholic Church, 6300 N. Meridian Road, Meridian with a luncheon to follow. Prior to their Funeral Mass, a rosary will be prayed in their memory at 10 am. Services are under the direction of Accent Funeral Home, Meridian. Remembrances may be left for the family at www.AccentFuneral.com