Patrick and Janet Smith were part of St. Martha Parish from the very beginning. Our family moved into the Pennswood section of the parish in 1966, before St. Martha Church and St. Martha School were built. All four of Patrick and Janet’s children are proud graduates of both St. Martha School and Archbishop Ryan High School.
Our parents believed in Catholic education so much that public school wasn’t even considered. Whatever the cost of Catholic education, it was worth it. Our father had to work hours and hours of overtime. Our mother had to be a full-time homemaker and hold down a job. And they both had to give up things they wanted in order to send us to a Catholic school. But, to them, it was worth it because of the quality of education a Catholic school offers, because of the values a Catholic school teaches, and because of the discipline a Catholic school provides.
On October 6, 1987, our mother died after a ten year battle with cancer. She was 52 years old. Less than five years later, on June 24, 1992, our father died after suffering a stroke. He was 61. Soon after our father’s death, we decided that we had to honor our father and mother for all they had done for us. Eventually, we decided the best way to honor them was to create a scholarship fund in their name.
On April 24, 2015, we lost another amazing woman. Our sister Dr. Teresa "Terri" Smith-Ball passed away after a 9.5 year battle with breast cancer. She was 55 years old. Terri was a generous neighbor, a loving friend, a caring doctor, a wonderful sister, a favorite aunt, a beautiful wife, and the best mom. As a strong believer in her Catholic faith and the importance of a good education, the scholarship committee will strive to keep Terri's legacy alive with the addition of a new scholarship in her memory.