Evelyn Ultican Smith

Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Evelyn Ultican Smith

Evelyn Ultican Smith died March 20, 2010, at the Poplar Grove AssistedLiving Home in Glenns Ferry, which had been her home since 2004.

With her were her daughter, Arlene, and members of the Poplar Grove staffwho had become her extended family during her stay there.

A celebration of her life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 27, atthe VFW Hall in Glenns Ferry. Cremation is under the direction of Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel.

Evelyn was born in a cabin in Muldoon, Idaho, the only child of Thomas Baptie, an immigrant Scottish sheepman, and Cora Baptie, a pioneering school teacher. Her mother was ill much of Evelyn's early life and died when Evelyn was eleven. Her aunt, a Scottish nanny, moved to the United States to help raise her niece, a legacy that left Evelynıs children listening to "Auntie Bea said..." instructions throughout their childhood.

After her Auntie Bea returned to Scotland, Evelyn lived with a number of different families including her aunt and uncle, Enid and John Baptie. One of her more interesting homes was that of a couple that sold bootleg liquor. One of the customers that she got to know was Sen. Borah, a towering figure of Idaho history.

Although often away from home to herd sheep, Evelyn's father was concerned that she get a solid education, so she attended and graduated from Albion Norman School.

At the ripe of age of 19 she began her career as a teacher in Pinehurst, a one-room schoolhouse in the central Idaho mountains, teaching children ages six to 16. The following year she moved to the Priest School near Picabo. However, during that year she met a young man name Mike Ultican, who she married in 1938.

Evelyn and Mike moved to Washington where Mike worked building the Grand Coulee Dam and later building Fort Lewis. Two years later they moved back to Idaho to join Evelyn's father to run the first of two farms they would operate during their life together.

Evelyn moved back into her career as a teacher beginning at King Hill, until retiring from Glenns Ferry in 1973. She then went back to college to complete her degree, graduating a year ahead of her youngest daughter. She added another year of advance education to support her efforts as one of Idaho's pioneering Special Ed teachers.

In 1971, her husband, Mike, was killed in a car accident. She married Bernard Smith in 1972, and lost him in 2001. She spent 33 years with Mike and another 29 with Bernard.

Evelyn is survived by her children, Rosalie Nadeau and husband Chuck Stewart, Arlene and husband Roy Bentson, son Tom and wife Lily Ultican, grandchildren, Loah McCoy, Lisa Sorenson (Dennis), Sean Nadeau, Mike Bentson (Karma), Pete Bentson (Kim) and Paige Bentson. She leaves 11 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Evelynıs memory to the Three Island Senior Center, 492 E. Cleveland Ave., Glenns Ferry, ID 83623, or the Lady's Auxiliary, VFW c/o 8204 E. John Parke Rd., Glenns Ferry, ID 83633.