Beloved teacher remembered at Slatington Library
A beloved teacher’s name was added to the Louise I. Hallman Memorial Plaque at the Slatington Library Tuesday night.
More than $2,000 was donated to the library in Doris Smith’s memory, which earned her an engraved plate on the plaque.
Smith was a retired mathematics teacher at the Northern Lehigh High School, a member of the Christ UCC Church in Walnutport, a volunteer at the Northern Lehigh Food Bank, a longtime library board member serving as its treasurer for many years and worked to organize the annual auction fundraiser.
“She was very well loved in the community,” said Library Board Secretary Lynne Fedorcha.
“She was humble and a tireless worker.”
Smith passed away unexpectedly last year from complications following a fall at her home.
“She was generous to a fault, we loved her very much. She was a marvelous individual. Anything I could say pales in comparison to her,” Fedorcha said.
Residents and former students gathered at the library Tuesday night for the unveiling of the name plate while fellow board member Hali Kuntz spoke of Smith’s commitments and involvements in the neighboring boroughs.
Her husband Nick Smith and daughter Jane Meckes gathered with the crowd to remember Smith. The pair agreed she would have been pleased to be memorialized in the historical home of literature.
“This was her baby,” Smith said.
“She sat at every Walnutport monthly flea market selling books for the library.”
Meckes added, “She loved when her students would come up and talk to her.”
“I said when I graduated high school I didn’t want to be a teacher, now here I am a first-grade teacher in Nazareth,” she said.
Meckes was not the only one influenced by her mother’s career path.
Kuntz was Smith’s high school geometry student.
“I became a math teacher because of her,” said the now retired educator.
Even after Smith officially retired from public school educating she continued to tutor and help people receive their GEDs.
She worked with at-risk women on the necessary skills of balancing a checkbook and handling a budget.
“She’d continue to do something but didn’t have to be recognized to it,” Nick said.
Smith celebrated her 81st birthday a month before her passing and had been married for 59 years to her husband.
“I met her at a square dance,” he said.
“I didn’t know her name or anything. I just knew she was in Walnutport. I drove all over Walnutport looking for her but I didn’t know she was away at college. I drove around one day and she was in a row boat in the canal, I always say ‘I fished her out of the canal,’” said Nick.
Smith’s name is the 10th to be engraved on the plaque since 2010. Donations reaching $1,000 earn an engraving on the memorial slate stone. All contributions are used for maintenance and daily operations of the library.
“She was quite incredible,” Meckes said.