Helen Tullos Smith Obituary:
Funeral Date: 10/7/2017
Helen Lois Tullos Smith, of Memphis, TN, (formerly of Austin, TX), passed away on September 17, 2017 at age 99. Born in Warren, Arkansas to a family that emphasized educational opportunities, Helen was the eldest of four siblings, all of whom were members of the National Honors Society at Warren High School. After graduating from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, she returned to Warren, where she began her teaching career and met Robert W. Smith, an eligible and handsome coach newly arrived in town. Their first date was to the film Gone with the Wind, and members of his high school football team in attendance cheered them at intermission. They were married on December 21, 1941, but soon Robert would ship out to distinguished service as an officer in WWII, where he appeared in the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Liberation of Czechoslovakia. After the close of WWII, Robert and Helen moved to Arkadelphia, AR, where she resumed teaching, ran the Campus Bookstore that she and Robert purchased together, and became the Executive Secretary for the local Red Cross. During their summers, the couple traveled to Austin, TX, to purse advanced coursework, and Helen became the first family member to hold an advanced degree, earning an M.L.S. in the mid-1950’s. After both were offered jobs at the University of Texas—Robert in the Department of Business and Helen in the University Library system—they moved to Austin where they lived for more than 50 years. As her career progressed, Helen eventually held the position of Head Librarian of the Business Department. Before and after retirement, community activity and service were important in Helen’s life as she participated in the UT Ladies Club, UT Faculty Wives, North West Hills Garden Club of Austin, the Stitchery Guild of Austin, and Covenant Presbyterian Church, where she was Librarian and President of the Women’s Group. In 2009, Helen was awarded the Honorary Lifetime Membership for Presbyterian Women. Robert and Helen also traveled extensively to Canada, Alaska, England, and Europe, including a return trip for the 50th anniversary of WWII. The last of her family’s generation, she is predeceased in death by her parents, Jasper Earl Tullos and Lois Johns Tullos of Warren, AR; her husband, Robert Waren Smith of Austin, TX; her siblings, Earl Jasper Tullos of Knoxville, TN, Katherine Ozment of Camden, AR, Sue Tullos Bynum of Leland, MS, and Hazel Marie Tullos of Warren, AR. After a life devoted to education, experience, and family in which she cultivated special relationships with her nieces and nephews, Helen left behind many who remember her fondly, but especially important was her niece Leigh Bynum McCraw of Memphis, TN, who tenderly cared for Helen in her last years in Trezevant Terrace in Memphis. Her primary caretakers at Trezevant also included her nurse Carolyn Miller, Leona Buchanan, and Patricia Sumerall. A graveside service was held Saturday, October 7, at 2:00 PM at Oakland Cemetery in Warren, AR with Rev. Philip Faris officiating. Arrangements were by Frazer’s Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Covenant Presbyterian Church Building Fund at 3003 Northland Drive, Austin, TX 78731 and YMCA of Warren & Bradley County at 207 N. Main Street, Warren, AR 71671.