Champion of "Mother Power" Barbara Smith, Passes Away

Former American Mothers National President Barbara B. Smith passed away on Monday, September 13, 2010.  She served as National President from 1993-1995.  Previously she had served as Third Vice President.

Barbara worked hard for the organization which she loved; one that would touch the lives of many mothers.  She developed a membership program named “Mother Power.”  The goal was to invite more mothers to particpate in American Mothers.

She shared her vision of American Mothers in the 1995 National Yearbook, page 7:

“Persist in our campaign for 3 million members; we more than doubled our membership this year.... Augment our chapters, study groups, and programs with those new members and utilize the talents of each member toward our organizational objective of saving American's children, homes and families.”

During her term as National President:

American Mothers celebrated its 60th Anniversary

She hired an Executive Director for the first time in many years because she had the vision that American Mothers was the type of an organization that was well-managed and run professionally.

She coined a phrase:  We are M&Ms: Mothers Helping Mothers

The book Mother Love was written, published and available for sale.  Ten years later (2006) she encouraged Rosalie Gaziano, 2002 National Mother of the Year, to write another book for American Mothers, Mother Speaks – For Love of Family.

Mrs. Smith also served in her church as the Relief Society General President (1974-1984) for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  At the time there was a worldwide membership of 2 million women.  She could truly envision American Mothers having 3 million members.

She has been a great mother and example to us all.  Barbara and her husband Douglas had seven children.

A Personal Experience by Deanne A. Taylor, current National President

As a young mother I attended my first National convention in 1978 in Des Moines, Iowa.  National President Phyllis B. Marriott had invited my chapter to attend the convention to help her with training the state leaders.

During one afternoon meeting, I slipped out of the room and went to the lobby to sit and think about the experience I was having.  I was feeling pretty overwhelmed.

After a few minutes, Barbara Smith stepped out of the elevator and came over to the area where I was sitting.  I recognized her as the 3rd Vice President, so I said hello and introduced myself.  She sat down by me and we talked for about 20 minutes while she waited for her son to arrive.

I remember her smile, her pleasant voice, and the encouraging words she shared with me – not only about staying committed to American Mothers, but to recognize the important work that I do as a mother.  I was in awe of this accomplished lady, and I appreciated the time she spent with me.

In 1994, when she was National President, I was elected as National Recording Secretary.  I was thrilled to be able to work closely with Barbara Smith and learn from her.  She continued to mentor me and to encourage my abilities, not only in service to AMI and the community, but to my family.

She was a woman of grace and quiet influence.   She has influenced my life forever.

More information about Barbara can be found here.