Early Saturday, May 5, Barbara Garrison Smith passed away here in Lawrence in the house she helped design and build over fifty years ago. Her son, Rick and daughter-in-law, Purwanti were at her side.
Barbara was born in Salt Lake City, UT on February 2, 1917, the daughter of Lloyd and Evelyn Dresser Garrison.
At 14 her family moved to Los Angeles, CA. Barbara attended UCLA where she received a B.A. in Psychology in 1938 and where she met Anthony Joseph Smith, whom she married August 16, 1941. In the late 1940’s Tony joined the Psychology Department at the University of Kansas and Barbara became active in community causes. In the early 1950’s she was one of the co-founders of the KU Nursery School, Lawrence’s first integrated nursery school. It survives today as the Lawrence Community Nursery School. Later she earned her M.A. in Psychology at KU, taught for several years at Washburn University, and worked as a social worker in Concordia and in Leavenworth.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Tony and her brother, Jack Garrison. She is survived by her sister, Nancy Shacklett of Murphys, CA; her daughter, Carol Shahin and husband, Bob, and their daughters, Anisa Shahin and Julia Collard and husband, Justin, Los Angeles, CA; her son, Eric Smith, and wife, Purwanti and their children, Christopher and Alicia, Lawrence; and her daughter, Laurel Healy, Sarasota, FL.
Barbara possessed a sense of adventure, a love of learning and a value of developing one’s own individuality which she shared with those around her and which she passed on to her children.
No services are scheduled. Memorial contributions in her name may be given to the Lawrence Community Nursery School and may be sent in care of the Warren-McElwain Mortuary.
Rick and Laurel,
I will always have very fond memories of Barbara. I was very fortunate to have her as my friend. Big hug and my heart is with you both.
Hello to the family of Barbara Garrison Smith:
I am the current director of the Lawrence Community Nursery School and wanted to send condolences on behalf of our school. Obviously Barbara was indeed a visionary who wanted the best for everyone, especially children. It is thanks to her that we are still helping children and families explore their creativity, make friends and be connected to the community. Today we are still linked to the mission she helped create of offering an open, participatory preschool experience for children and families.
She continues to support us by naming LCNS as a beneficiary of memorial contributions, of which we are deeply thankful. It fills our hearts that our little red schoolhouse remained so special to Barbara throughout her life.
Thanks to you, her family, for honoring her this way.
All the best from us at LCNS.
Laurie Dale Marshall
To the loving Family and dear friends I send my sympathy in the painful loss of your dearly loved Barbara. May the following Bible Verses give comfort and hope.
Psalm34:18 “GOD IS NEAR TO THOSE THAT ARE BROKEN AT HEART, AND THOSE WHO ARE CRUSHED IN SPIRIT HE SAVES”