October 24, 1944 – June 13, 2019
Mary Clare Smothers, 74, passed away at her home in Lincoln City on June 13, 2019.
Mary was born October 24, 1944 in St. Louis, Missouri, to Clara Marie Bestien and Dale D. Stagner. She grew up in southern California, moving to Oregon in 1962 to attend college. Mary was a lifelong learner and obtained a BS degree in physics from University of Portland, an MS degree in science education from Oregon State, and an MS in Photography from Brooks Institute of Photography.
In 1971 Mary married Leo Smothers. They honeymooned in Hawaii and Fiji enroute to their new teaching job in Australia. They both loved to travel and in their nearly 37 years of marriage traveled in 22 countries and lived in Australia, Eugene, Iceland, Germany, Santa Barbara, and Klamath Falls.
Mary taught science, mathematics, and photography for many years at the secondary level. Her greatest honor was being selected in 1985 as a Teacher in Space semi-finalist representing the Department of Defense Dependents Schools in 26 countries.
In 1991 Mary and Leo moved to Klamath Falls where Mary assumed the job of staff photographer at OIT, and also taught photography at OIT. Mary’s most exciting photographic moment came in 2004 when she photographed the Hustlin’ Owls’ first National Basketball championship.
Mary was an avid tennis player for many years. When she gave up tennis she turned to hiking and enjoyed several walking holidays in Ireland. Mary loved to fly both airplanes and sailplanes. She was a pilot for 25 years and was an active member of the Klamath Chapter of the Oregon Pilots Association. Over the years, Mary and Leo owned seven aircraft and a soaring business.
Since 1975 Mary had been the proud owner of a 1952 MG TD. When her health permitted she was active in KBritts, Klamath Falls British car club. Mary was always an avid reader and it was her early fascination with Nancy Drew stories that led to her love of British cars.
In her Oregon coastal retirement Mary happily joined Julie Otrugman’s Monday writing class. Mary immensely enjoyed the congeniality of writing with colleagues, while working on a series of memories capturing Leo’s and her adventures and experiences.
Mary’s husband, Leo, died in 2008 and Mary often said she would never have survived without her two dogs, Ace and Ned. Mary leaves behind her stepchildren and spouses, Virginia and Greg Jost, Leo Scott (deceased) and Lynne Smothers, Mark (deceased) and Sheri Smothers. Mary also leaves eleven grandchildren, including Will Jost, Eva Jost, Charles Jost, Brandon Smothers, Ciera Dalton, Shanna Stirtz, Tony Smothers, Rebecca Tucker, Caitlin Smothers, and Dominick Smothers, and Adia Scherler.
Memorial contributions can be made to one of the following: the Klamath Hospice, Inc., the Klamath County Humane Society, or to the Leo and Mary Smothers Scholarship Fund at OIT.
In lieu of a service, Mary asks that you remember her the next time you see a dog running, or hear a small airplane flying overhead, or walk on the beach, or watch a beautiful sunset over the ocean.