Marion Violet Smith
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GREAT FALLS —Marion Violet Smith, 70, of Great Falls, passed away Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at the Montana Peace Hospice facility.
A funeral liturgy will be held on Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. at Holy Family Chapel, 2800 Central Ave. A reception to celebrate her life will follow the service at Great Falls Central Catholic High School, 2800 18th Ave. S.
Marion was born in Great Falls on October 7, 1943 to Marion and Cora Sepich. After attending elementary school at St. Thomas and graduating from Great Falls Central High School, she attended and received her Bachelor's degree from Seattle University. Marion later went on to receive her Master's degree from Northern Montana College in Havre. She began her 52 year teaching career in San Jose, California. While there, she met and married her husband, Pat Smith. She and Pat later divorced. In 1977 she returned "home" to Great Falls and continued her vocation as a special education teacher for the Great Falls School District, serving various elementary schools, CMR and Great Falls High Schools. In her last years prior to her retirement in 2008, she served as the District's Vocational Resource Educator.
In addition to her many years of teaching and mentoring, one of her passions was her dedication and service to Montana Special Olympics. She served in many capacities for the organization at both the state and local level. In 2011, she received recognition for her strong commitment to the program by being inducted into the Montana Special Olympics Hall of Fame. She also served 5 years as a member of the Great Falls Transit Board of Directors. During her time on this board, she was committed to addressing the transportation needs of her special students, as well as other community residents with physical challenges.
Marion loved to be with family, especially her grandchildren, friends and socializing with anyone she would meet. She was always willing to help, you only had to ask her once and she would be there. Holidays were always special to her because it was an opportunity for family times together, for taking pictures, enjoying her cooking, and just reminiscing about "old family stories".
Marion is survived by her daughter, Kathleen O'Leary; grandchildren, Madison and Jackson O'Leary of Great Falls; brother Jerry Sepich of Pocatello, Idaho; sister-in-law Marianne Sepich of Great Falls; niece Leslie Sepich of Glendale, AZ; nephew Dustin Sepich of Tucson, AZ.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Marion and Cora Sepich.
In lieu of flowers, Marion's family requests that memorial donations be made to Montana Special Olympics, PO Box 3507, Great Falls, MT 59403.
The family would like to thank her many friends and professional colleagues who visited her during her hospital stays over the past years.
Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.schniderfuneralhome.com.
Schnider Funeral Home
1510 13th Street South Great Falls, MT 59405-4501
Published in Great Falls Tribune on June 27, 2014