Betty Gayle Smith - 1963
Bio & Picture from 40th Reunion
Betty Gayle's Photo History
Betty answers to Charley's Questionnaire

Betty Gayle Smith – 2008-06-27


I am retired since surviving a stroke on July 12, 2003 which has disabled the left side of my body.  Prior to that, I spent 40 years working in the insurance industry and teaching history and geography to 8th graders in Houston, Tx. The teaching was the first career after M.U., with that being 6 yrs.  I moved back to Boone County in 1985.

My current interests are in labyrinths and peace poles.  My goal is to establish labyrinths for walking meditation in all the schools in Boone County.  I have been setting up temporary labyrinths at Earth Day and First Night, with a lot of help from my friends, for the past several years.  We have established a permanent wildflower labyrinth near Centralia, 2 other labyrinths at local churches, and a small one in my front yard.  Our group is called Labyrinths of Turtle Island.  I also have assisted in establishing and dedicating Peace Poles in Boone County and adding to the over 220,000, worldwide.  Everybody needs a Peace Pole in their front or backyard.

Since our last reunion, which I missed most of it due to the stroke, I have driven to Texas twice, to check on some property I still own there, and also have enjoyed a trip to Saskatchewan to give a presentation at the International Master Gardeners Convention.  I work with the Plant A Row for the Hungry project in our local master gardener group in providing fresh vegetables to the local food bank.  During the past five years, I have also worked with the English as a Second Language Literacy Program, and most recently have worked with a family from Liberia.  I try to stay active and not depressed by keeping as busy as possible even though deafness in the left ear and inability to maintain balance are very real frustrations and challenges to me.  I want to be able to get to Machu Picchu, yet.  Best wishes to all of you.  Betty Gayle Smith














November 15, 2012

I'm not feeling creative, so I'm just going to try and address the questions:
1) I am a native of Boone County, born in the old University hospital which later was the University Lab School. Lived w/my folks west of Columbia on the farm until I graduated from MU in 1967. Attended a rural grade school, grades 1-8, Strawn School, so didn't meet my '63 classmates until 9th grade at Jeff Jr.
2) went on to MU and graduated in '67 with a BS in Education and moved to Houston, TX. in Aug. 67, to teach 7th & 8th graders, history, for 6 years. Went on to become an insurance claim representative with St.Paul Ins. Co, and eventually a Claims Manager for 14 counties and 32 agents in East Tx. Acquired a Casualty Property Claims Law Associate designation through further education with St. Paul.
3) I moved back to MO in 1985 and worked for other insurance companies and was last working for Cornerstone Insurance until I had a stroke on July 12, 2003.
4) I have been disabled since 2003.
5) I have done volunteer work since the forced retirement, working as a lay chaplain at my church, Unity of Columbia, Columbia's Senior Ctr., and various projects for Heart of Mo. Master Gardeners.
6) I am divorced from a texan, Raymond Jenkins since 1984. We were married for 5 years. I have not remarried.
7) My only child, Deidre Jenkins Henry was born in 1980. So far, I only have 2 granddogs, Trixie and Tanner, both rescuees from the pound. She married Matt Henry in 2009. They are both graduates of Linn Tech. I get discounts at O'Reilly's due to Deidre's Paint Specialist designation there.
8) I have visited all the states west of the Mississippi as well as most of the eastern ones. I also have visited Great Britain, France, Mexico, Costa Rica and Saskatchewan in Canada.
9) I have always wanted to go to New Zealand, Peru, and Easter Island.
10) not a veteran. My ex was a Vietnam vet.
11) Artcraft class and Mrs. Moreau was my better memories. Being called to the board to prove something in Mr. Proffer's plane geometry class was the worst.
12) I enjoyed 4-H and my friends
13) Mrs. Moreau is deceased I believe. Mrs Barr was a real inspiration as well.
14) probably just Charley, I see Carolyn Kemper occasionally.
15) same as 14
16) just how the physical plant has changed since the "old" days
17) working in the garden, specifically, my mom's vegetable garden. Setting out trotlines in the MO. River, and pole lines in Perche Creek with my dad, Glenn Smith, a '36 grad of Hickman. Thoughts of pre-I-70 and non pavement of Providence and no Stadium Blvd. Kewpie and MU football games were good memories..
18) I was proud to be selected for the Cresset Staff and remember Mrs. Barr as a real inspiration. I also got an Artcraft award at the end of the year.
19) Being terrified of Mattie Malone's dodge ball throws
20) Mr. Proffer, in that, it is possible to overcome total fear. Mrs. Hawkins, in that you really knew a language when you were able to speak it in your dreams, not that I conquered French, but I have had some close encounters in Spanish. I have learned from my "continuing educational" superiors over the years, that "you can do just about anything you make up your mind to do."

Charley, thanks for all the time, energy. and plain hard work you put into helping ALL former and present Kewpies remember their Hickman High days. YOU are appreciated!









Betty Gayle's Photo History 


Betty Gayle - 6 months

Age 5

Age 5 

5th Birthday

Age 6 or 7 


Age 6 or 7

7th Grade Strawn School





October 1980

Back to Directory