In Memory

Sara 'Sallie' Austin (Smith) - Class Of 1934

Sara 'Sallie' Austin (Smith)

Sara 'Sallie' Austin Smith, 91, passed away on December 8, 2007, in Alhambra, California She was a longtime member of the Tech and Socorro communities and widow of Proessor. Clay T. Smith, longtime professor of geology.

Sallie's son, Dean Smith, reported that she was dressed up and sitting in a chair by the door, waiting for him to pick her up and take her someplace. When he arrived, she had quietly and peacefully passed away.

Sallie was born in Bay City, Michigan, on October 17, 1916, and moved with her family to Pasadena in 1920. She attended South Pasadena High School, and Occidental College, where she majored in English, earned her teaching certificate, and graduated in 1938.

She worked as a teacher briefly before her marriage to Clay T. Smith of Glendale, California, in May 1940. The couple spent the next several years throughout the West as Dr. Smith, a graduate of Cal Tech and a geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, performed survey work throughout Colorado, Utah and Nevada.

They moved to Socorro in 1947, where Dr. Smith became a professor of geology at the New Mexico School of Mines, which later became New Mexico Tech. Dr. Smith passed away in 2003, and Sallie remained in Socorro until April 2007, when she moved to Marguerite Gardens in Alhambra.

Sallie was active in many organizations in Socorro, including the Garden Club, the Socorro Presbyterian Church, PEO, the American Association of University Women and the Good Samaritan Village nursing home. Sallie was honored by the Socorro Public Library for 50 years of service to the Library Auxiliary, and was named a “Woman of the West

Known for her generous nature, unfailing willingness to help, and her love of entertaining, Sallie was a pillar of Socorro society, lending a hand in a wide variety of activities throughout the 60 years she lived in the city. She will be sorely missed.

Sallie is survived by her sister, Catherine Austin Ross (SPHS '30), of Pasadena, two sons, Dean, of Upland, and Stan, of Rancho Palos Verdes; her daughters-in-law, Pat James and Sheri Ulrich; grandchildren Kirsten Stephen of Houston, Texas, Derek Smith of Kansas City, Missouri, and Caitlin and McKenna Ulrich-Smith of Rancho Palos Verdes.

Mountain Mail, December 2007