The Edmond Sun

Obituaries

December 16, 2013

Helen Janet Ponewczynski Smart

EDMOND —     Helen Janet Ponewczynski Smart, 87, was born September 27, 1926 in The Bronx, New York City, and departed this life December 14, 2013. Her father was Stanley Ponewczynski, an immigrant from Poland who became a United States citizen and was a soldier in World War I. Her mother was Mary Catherine Kremka, oldest child of Polish immigrant parents. Helen was Mary and Stanley’s oldest daughter, followed by Amelia, Theresa, and Mary Ann.

    Her childhood was spent in The Bronx, then in Eatontown, N.J., then in Brooklyn, N.Y., and back again in The Bronx. She graduated from Midwood High School in Brooklyn and attended Hunter College, Manhattan campus. There she earned a B.A. in Biology and was Phi Beta Kappa. She moved to Austin, Texas, where she attended the University of Texas on a scholarship and earned a master’s degree in botany. Together with her thesis professor, Helen published three botany papers.

    From Austin she moved to Lubbock, Texas, where she was a teaching associate in botany for three years. In Lubbock she met Gene Smart, whom she married on October 22, 1955. She became the mother of five children: Diane Smart Stuckart, Paul Smart, Valerie Smart Shoup, David Smart, and Tom Smart. The family moved to Dallas in 1961, and then to Edmond, Okla. in 1972.

    Helen worked closely with Gene while he was establishing his oil and gas business. She obtained a real estate license and worked in that field for three years. She then became interested in handwriting analysis. Helen received certification as a graphoanalyst, followed by her master’s certification. Her work was recognized in two Oklahoma magazines and the Edmond Sun.

She retained her interest in plants and was a gardener all her life. Helen was an avid reader, especially in the subjects of history, religion, and biography.

    She was preceded in death by her husband, Gene Smart; grandson, Geoffrey Smart; and sister, Theresa Leonard.

    Helen was a loving wife, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She will be missed by her family and friends.

    Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 18, at Baggerley Funeral Home, 930 S Broadway, Edmond, OK, followed by a wake at 7 p.m., and rosary at 8 p.m.  A private burial will be held at Memorial Park Cemetery.

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