May 7, 2005: Headlines: Obituaries: COS - Kenya: Santa Cruz Sentinel: Kenya RPCV Jean Anderson Smith dies in Washington

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Kenya: The Peace Corps in Kenya: May 7, 2005: Headlines: Obituaries: COS - Kenya: Santa Cruz Sentinel: Kenya RPCV Jean Anderson Smith dies in Washington

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Kenya RPCV Jean Anderson Smith dies in Washington

Kenya RPCV Jean Anderson Smith dies in Washington

Kenya RPCV Jean Anderson Smith dies in Washington

Woman who grew up in lighthouse dies
Jean Anderson Smith, 96, taught all over the world

Jean Anderson Smith, a 1926 graduate of Santa Cruz High School who grew up living in the old West Cliff lighthouse and taught for about 40 years in county elementary schools, died April 27 in Kirkland, Wash. She was 96.

Smith moved onto West Cliff Drive when her father, Arthur Anderson, became the lighthouse keeper in 1916, family members said.

The old lighthouse "had been started as a little boxy structure," said historian Ross Eric Gibson of Santa Cruz. "The front porch and a back wing were added on, so they were in the building at its largest."

Smith grew up with a lot of close friends who made the most of their hometown, said her son, Jim Gallagher of Redwood City.

"One of the things they would do was swim around the wharf," Gallagher said.

"They said one time they did it at night and they took their bathing suits off. They thought that was really crazy."

Smith met her first husband, also James Gallagher, at the summer estate of former San Francisco mayor and state Sen. James Duval Phelan, which is now Lighthouse Field. She was a nursery school teacher there, her son said.

Instead of the open space there today, the land was "deeply forested cypress groves with a few eucalyptus trees," Gibson said.

They soon divorced, Gallagher said, and Smith began working as the society editor for the Santa Cruz News. She married News advertising manager Irving Smith in 1937, and started teaching during World War II.

The couple moved to Monterey before settling in Watsonville for about 20 years, Gallagher said, where Smith taught in the Pajaro Unified School District. They divorced in the 1960s, her son said, and Smith moved to Aptos.

Smith kept teaching in the district through the early 1980s, when age limits forced her to retire, her son said. She then volunteered with the federal Volunteers in Service to America program, where she worked with problem students in Kansas City.

She "didnít want to hang it up yet," she said, in a 1977 Sentinel story. "I was either going to sit around on my fanny or get out and do something in the world."

After working in the Show Me state of Missouri, Smith joined the Peace Corps and ventured to Kenya. She worked as a teacher and athletic director at the Tumu Tumu School for the Deaf until catching tropical hepatitis, her son said.

"We had to go over and get her in Nairobi in 1981," Gallagher recalled.

Smith then moved to San Francisco, where she taught reading to high school dropouts before moving near her daughter in Kirkland, Wash., in 1989, family said.

"She was a ball of fire," her son said. "Itís been kind of tough the last few years, but she had a good run at it."

Contact Genevieve Bookwalter at
Jean Anderson Smith
BORN: July 29, 1908.

DIED: April 27, 2005.

OCCUPATION: Retired. Former teacher in Pajaro Valley Unified School District.

SURVIVORS: Daughter Linda Vaughn of Kirkland, Wash.; son James Gallagher of Redwood City; six grandchildren; and 10 great grandchildren.

SERVICES: Will be private.

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Story Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Obituaries; COS - Kenya



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