Wenning

Tami Wenning

Writing feature stories for the newspaper for many years, Pat Smith doesn’t consider herself a “local treasure,” but a lot of other people do. She has put her heart and wit into so many interesting articles through the years.

Last November, Pat wrote a story that was likely the hardest one she has ever penned. It was a story about her beloved daughter, Tracey Lynn Smyser, who weeks earlier had passed away in an East Coast hospital. With the pandemic stopping most travel at the time, Pat was not able to even be there.

In an effort to ensure that her daughter would not be forgotten, Pat has since set up a scholarship fund in her daughter’s memory through the Decatur County Community Foundation. While establishing the fund, Pat was adamant that it be named after her daughter. She wanted the fund to be about Tracey and not about Pat herself.

Pat has stated multiple times that when her own time on this Earth is through, proceeds from her estate will go to the Decatur County Community Foundation to grow her daughter’s scholarship. She has told me she’s writing her own obituary and is asking for any memorial gifts to go to the fund that is in her daughter’s name. And that’s where we need your help, Decatur County.

The thing is, Pat’s birthday is in the month of May. She is such a wonderful person and has done so much for our community, wouldn’t it be cool if we could let Pat know how we feel about her now, while she is still here with us, rather than waiting until after she’s gone?

There is no delicate way to phrase it, but Pat doesn’t care about things being phrased delicately. She likes to get to the point. My point is, flowers are beautiful at funerals, but recognizing someone while they are still living can sure make a person realize that all they’ve done for this community through the years has not gone unappreciated.

So what do you think, Decatur County?

If you would like Pat Smith to know how much you appreciate her, consider wishing her a happy birthday with a donation to the Tracey Smyser Scholarship Fund. You can mail your tribute to DCCF, 101 E. Main Street, Greensburg, IN 47240, or you can go online to dccfound.org and click on “Give Now.” Simply scroll down and click on the Secure Online Giving Portal, then type “Tracey” in the search bar to be taken to the fund. We will be sure to send Pat a nice letter stating that you honored her with a gift to her daughter’s memorial scholarship.

Thank you, Decatur County, for helping us recognize and honor a wonderful Decatur County treasure.

Happy birthday, Pat Smith!

Tami Wenning is the executive director of the Decatur County Community Foundation.

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