Regina Pauline Smith (Hicks) was born on June 14, 1943 in New Britain, Connecticut to Adam and Ella Hicks. She was baptized soon after in St. Andrew’s Luthuanian Catholic Church. She was very proud of her 100% Lithuanian heritage and visited Luthiania seven times in her life. In her last visit to Lithuania in 2008 she was there 35 days and gave 28 lectures on geriatric nursing which was her specialty in Nursing.
After graduating from New Britain General High School, she attended Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from the School of Nursing in 1964 as a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree. From 1964 to 1971 she was a staff nurse at Mount Vernon Hospital in Mount Vernon, Illinois. She then decided to pursue a graduate degree in nursing at the University of Florida Medical Center at Gainesville, Florida. However, when she arrived in Florida, the University Medical Center at Florida offered her a position as nursing instructor for the University of Florida Medical Center which she accepted.
While at Gainesville, Florida she met her future husband, Lon Smith. They were married on October 31, 1973 at St. Andrew’s Lithuanian Catholic Church in New Britain, Connecticut. Soon thereafter she moved with her husband in 1975 to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for four years while her husband pursued a Ph.D degree in Economics at Louisiana State University. They then moved in 1979 to Mankato, Minnesota where they lived until 2008. She finally obtained her Master’s degree in Nursing in 1988 from the University of Florida where she lived for a year while her husband was on sabbatical leave there. After that she taught in the School of Nursing at Minnesota State University until she retired partially in 2007 and totally in 2009. While teaching at the School of Nursing at Minnesota State University she developed a course in the field of gerontology which was one of the first in the nation. She received several prestigious honors as a Nursing educator especially in the field of geriatric nursing. When she retired from teaching she then planned to retire with her husband to his hometown of St. Paul, Kansas and did so in 2010. She died on January 21, 2011 from complications due to cancer.
She is survived by her husband of 37 years, Gerald Alonso (Lon) Smith; two sons and a daughter, David, Daniel and Rebecca Smith; three grandchildren, Laylie, Kareem and Isaac. She is also survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Claudia and Steven Csuka of Beacon Falls, Connecticut; her brother and his wife, Philip and Sandy Hicks of Thornborough, New York; her favorite aunt, Marjorie LeFever of Syracuse, New York; and her special godfather and his wife, Ben and Mary Hicks of New Britain, Connecticut.
In place of flowers, bequests are requested to be made to the American Cancer Society or to Prairie Mission Retirement Village at 242 Carroll Street in St. Paul, Kansas.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011 at the St. Francis Catholic Church at St. Paul. Burial will follow in the St. Francis Cemetery. The Parish Rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. this evening at the Carson-Wall Funeral Home in St. Paul. The family will receive friends following the rosary. Memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society or the Prairie Mission Retirement Village at St. Paul and these may be left at or mailed to the funeral home 403 Main, St. Paul, KS 66771. Online Condolences may be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com.