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Marion "Sal" Francis Batty Smith
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Obituary for Marion "Sal" Francis Batty Smith

Marion (Sal) Francis Batty Smith, age 91, died September 11, 2017, in Oak Ridge, of complications from Alzheimer’s disease

Sal Smith was born in Dallas, Texas on January 8, 1926 to Reginald Wortley Batty and Hilda Stauss Batty. She lived on a farm east of Dallas from the age of 2 until the age of 7 when her family returned to New Orleans. Upon graduation from high school in New Orleans, she attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute in Lafayette and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in sociology. It was at Southwestern Louisiana Institute that she met Harold (Hal) Smith. They married in 1950 and were married for 62 years until his death in 2012.

Sal’s interest in art led her to take various art classes and to obtain a teaching certificate in art education. She taught art at Karns High School in Knox County until her retirement in about 1987. While engaging in many forms of art, she concentrated on pottery and had an entire pottery studio in her house. She taught pottery to many people in many different settings and she continued to take classes in various forms of pottery and ceramics. She and her husband, Hal, traveled to arts and craft shows through the southeast where she exhibited and sold her pottery and he exhibited and sold his photographs.

Sal was involved in numerous groups and activities in Oak Ridge and the surrounding area. Some of the art groups she was involved with were the Oak Ridge Art Center, Appalachian Arts Crafts Center, and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. Shortly after she and Hal arrived in Oak Ridge in 1957, they became very active in the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club, and they spent many weekends hiking and camping with their children in East Tennessee. They were also members of Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning and Save Our Cumberland Mountains.

Other organizations that Sal was involved with were the Oak Ridge Dance Club, Latin Dance Club, League of Women Voters, and Remove Intoxicated Drivers. She was a very active member of the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church from 1957 to the present. As her illness progressed, she was looked after by her children, the staff at Greenfield Senior Living, and caregivers Abby, Penny, and Donna, among others. Three weeks before she passed away, she took a trip to Harriman, TN to see the total eclipse. She greatly enjoyed the outing and recognized parts of Harriman that she used to visit over 50 years ago.

She was preceded in death by her parents Reginald Wortley Batty and Hilda Stauss Batty; husband, Harold Glenn Smith; brother, Reginald Wortley Batty; and daughter, Lynette Elaine Smith.

She is survived by her daughter, Lorie J. James and husband, Lyle of Salt Lake City, Utah, and son, Brian A. Smith and his wife Sandra Salgado of Austin, Texas; grandchildren, Daniel and Clara Smith-Salgado of Austin, Texas; and her sisters Shirley Asfour of Zurich, Switzerland and Dixie Nghiem of Olympia, WA.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Sal’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, September 24 at 2:00 pm at the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church in Oak Ridge with the Rev. Jake Morrill officiating.

An online guestbook may be signed at

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Marion "Sal" Francis Batty Smith, please visit our Tribute Store.


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