CLEMENTS Mrs. Flora Hardin Smith, age 87, passed away Tue, Oct 11, 2016 in Lexington. She was born on Sep 26, 1929 in Bardstown to the late Irvin and Pearl Curtsinger Hardin. She was a retired Principal at Nelson County Board of Education, a member of the KY and Nelson County Teachers Retirement Association, a former volunteer at Flaget Memorial Hospital and a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church where she formerly served on the bereavement committee and an Eucharistic Minister. Flora known by her many friends as "Flo", took a different route from most educators. She began her college education in 1962 at Nazareth College, attending part-time while also balancing responsibilities of wife, mother and business partner in the Colonial Flower Shop, which she owned and operated with her husband Tom "Chicken" Smith. Originally she managed the financial aspects, however the growth of the business saw her transition into decorating and design. Her natural talent for making beautiful floral arrangements was reflected by the demand of her creations. In 1965 following the death of her husband, she sold the business in order to resume her education. In two short years she completed her Bachelors degree at Nazareth College. She went on to complete her Masters Degree in library science. Rank 2 and Rank 1 in school administration and guidance counseling at Western Kentucky University while balancing the responsibilities of raising four young children. Upon her graduation from Nazareth College, she began her teaching career at Foster Heights Elementary School. After five years of teaching she accepted the job of librarian. She served as librarian for several years. When former principal J.B. sparks retired, she took over the top job until her retirement in 1996. Her philosophy can easily be summed up in her own words: "I think the major challenge for a principal is seeing that every child is given an equal opportunity to see that their needs are met." She influenced the lives of many and set an example for generations to come. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Thomas Stoker Smith and her 2nd husband, Joseph Medley Clements, a sister, Grace Pearl Raisor and a brother John Irvin "Buddy" Hardin, Jr. She is survived by her son, Thomas "Tom" S.(Elizabeth) Smith, Jr. of Lexington, 3 daughters, Susan Smith (Greg) McCreary, Barbara Smith (Rob) Twist both of Lexington, Kathy Smith (Van) Willis of New Albany, IN, 2 sisters, Blanche Lewis of Louisville, Artie Brooks of Bardstown, and a brother, Eddie Hardin of Bardstown. She is also survived by 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild. Mass of Christian burial will be 11am Fri, Oct 14, 2016 at Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral. Interment in St. Joseph Cemetery. The family request that expressions of sympathy be made in the form of contributions to Hospice of the Bluegrass.
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