Paula Marie Smith, 61, 3325 Teton Drive, Stevens Point, WI died early Tuesday morning, August 23, 2011 at her home. Paula was born November 30, 1949 in Hampton (Franklin County) Iowa to Merle M. and Rose (Steinberger) Horswell. She married Gregory A. Smith on April 12, 1969 at the Convent Chapel of the Sisters of St. Francis, St. Augustine Parish in Austin, MN. She lived in Estherville and Ames, Iowa as a child and attended schools there before graduating from Spirit Lake, Iowa High School in 1968. She attended Mankato State College in Mankato, MN where she met her husband Greg. She returned to college as an adult and took courses at UW Eau Claire and UW Center Baraboo before graduating with honors from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a BS degree from the School of Agriculture majoring in Agricultural Journalism, with an emphasis in Natural Resource Protection including endangered species. She was awarded the Bjorklund Scholarship from UW Madison and was consistently on the Dean’s Honor List. She lived in Austin, MN, Blissfield, MI, Chippewa Falls, Portage, Iola and Stevens Point, WI moving with her husband’s newspaper and magazine career. Paula was an active volunteer in each community she lived, raising funds and giving her time. She was a Chick Momma at the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, WI for eight years hand rearing endangered baby crane chicks. She was a constant volunteer at her children’s schools. She was a Parish outreach volunteer for many years in Portage and helped several families with disabled and dying members. She delivered Meals on Wheels in Stevens Point and was an active supporter of the Portage County Family Crisis Center, purchasing new kitchen appliances for their facility. After her children were grown and she graduated from college Paula worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Chippewa County Office rebuilding fences on trout stream easements, discouraging beaver from rebuilding homes on trout streams and conducting research on local lake fish species. She then transferred to the DNR’s district office in Eau Claire as an Environmental Specialist where she conducted onsite evaluations of wastewater labs in fourteen counties for compliance with state codes. After moving to Stevens Point, she worked for the Portage County Health Department as a Community Health Educator before becoming disabled. Before becoming disabled, she loved all sorts of outdoor activities and participated in sports, especially tennis. She loved long walks with her husband and her dogs. She was an excellent quilter, giving many quilts as gifts. She created many works of art with needlepoint, displaying many of them in her home. She was a loving gardener and was known for her beautiful yard, which included an ever growing number of gardens, eventually totaling eleven. She loved birds and butterflies and grew flowers and plants that attracted them. She was the family genealogist and pursued her family searches as long as her disability allowed. She had more than 4000 people in her database. She loved wildlife and birds and any she couldn’t identify she looked up in her large book collection. She was a strong environmentalist and believed in leaving the earth a better place because she was here. She was an old soul and loved antiques, collecting and old people. She had many dogs and a few cats in her life and she loved the company and companionship of her pets. Her family was the most important thing in her life and she loved them with all her heart. She protected her children fiercely. She loved attending their events as children and enjoyed following their careers and families as adults. She left them no doubt from an early age that they would graduate from college. Her large extended family brought her great joy and she loved seeing and hearing from them as the generations continued to come. She was a loving and caring person who struggled with disability and pain for many years. She faced her challenges with courage and dignity and was an example for all her family to follow. She is survived by her husband Greg Smith, Stevens Point, WI; son Morgan Smith (friend and partner Cherie Brennan) and grandson Odin Smith, Robbinsdale, MN; daughter Sloan (Michael) Miller and granddaughters Sydney, Allison, Madelyn, Janesville, WI; mother Rose Huse of Spirit Lake, IA; three sisters Karla (Jerry) Baker, Dewey, AZ; Marilyn ( Charles) Liessler, Cherokee, IA; Sharon (Joe) Piseski, Eden Prarie, MN; step sisters Jackie (Jim) McGrady, Cookeville, TN, Phyllis (Dan) Stinehart, Lake Mills, IA; three brothers: William (Annette) Huse, Milford, IA, Robert (Diane) Huse, Arnolds Park, IA; Steven (Robyn) Horswell, Milford, IA and numerous nieces, nephews and grand nieces and nephews. She is survived on the Smith side by dozens of brothers and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and grand nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father Merle Horswell; nephew Kurt McDowell and by her father and mother-in-law Edmund and Maxiene Smith. A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 11:00 AM at St. Augustine Church in Austin, MN. Visitation will be held at 9:30 AM until time of service at the church. A private burial service will be held prior to that at Calvary Cemetery in Austin, MN. Father Paul Nelson, a dear friend of the family, will officiate. Mayer Funeral Home in Austin, MN will handle the Minnesota arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials be made in Paula’s honor to a local Family Crisis Center. Online condolences may be sent to www.shudafuneral.com.