SOUTH HADLEY - Patricia Hungerford Smyke, 86, of Loomis Village, South Hadley, died peacefully Friday, April 5, 2013, at the Fisher Home hospice in Amherst, surrounded by her loving children.
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Born Feb. 26, 1927, in Bolivar, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late Amelia Odelia Gerringer Hungerford and Frank G. Hungerford.
Patricia earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature from the University of Michigan, graduating Phi Beta Kappa.
That was followed by studies at Oxford University, which included a period of travel throughout post war Europe in 1948. She was enrolled in a doctorate program at Radcliffe College when she met and fell in love with her future husband, Raymond J. Smyke.
Ray and Pat lived in Boston and Washington, D.C., before moving to Morges, Switzerland, where they spent 33 years.
Pat worked in Geneva for the League of Red Cross Societies, UNICEF and the International Catholic Child Bureau. She was the first woman head of division at the league, where she led the social welfare unit, in charge of visiting and assessing conditions in refugee camps throughout Africa and Asia. Her work also included leadership of the "Child Alive" program that promoted the use of oral rehydration solution packets to counter diarrheal diseases in developing nations and she was instrumental in creating the International Year of the Child, promulgated by the United Nations in 1979.
The letters she wrote to her family from these remote locations are treasured to this day, capturing conditions in camps from South Waziristan to Somalia.
Pat was passionate about language. She wrote essays and poetry, and was an avid fan of crossword puzzles. She was also an accomplished pianist, a talent she inherited from her father. She was a wise and loving wife, mother, sister, aunt and grandmother.
She is survived by her seven children, Anna Smyke (Paul J. Marquis) of River Ridge, La., Tina Van Ewyk (Robert) of England, Barth (Veronique) of Switzerland, Peter of Alpine, Texas, Dana (Anita) of Cordova, Ark., Camela Moskin (David) of Hadley and Paul (Angela DeVecchi) of Arlington. She will be greatly missed by her 17 grandchildren, Estalyn (Khari Martin), Willa and Andrew Marquis, Hannah (Robert Bibbings), Sam, Ellie and Rosemary Van Ewyk, Paul J. Smyke, Isaac, Lillian and Mae Moskin, Sophie and Ethan Smyke, Jessica, Casey, Ria and the late Riley Smyke. She cherished her two sisters who survive her, Mary Fitzsimmons (Doug) of Crossville, Tenn., and Jerry Chadderdon (Chad) of Bolivar, N.Y., as well as many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to express their heartfelt appreciation to the staff of Loomis Village Assisted Living and the Hospice of Fisher
A service of remembrance will be held Sunday, April 7, at 10:30 a.m. at Douglass Funeral Home, 87 North Pleasant St., Amherst, MA.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Friends of Edna Maternity Hospital, Somaliland (www.ednahospital.org) or Hospice of the Fisher Home (www.fisherhome.org).
Obituary and memorial register at www.douglassfuneral.com.
To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to www.gazettenet.com/obituaries.
Douglass Funeral Home
87 North Pleasant Street Amherst, MA 01002
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Apr. 6, 2013