April 11, 1916 ~ October 22, 2012

Mollie S. Smart died at her home in Ridgefield, WA, on October 22, the end of a long, productive, interesting life. Intellectual, teacher, wife, mother, friend, she influenced many people throughout the world with her ideas, teaching, compassion, global perspective, and knowledge.
Born in Chatham, Ontario, to Mildred and Starr Stevens, she earned her honors Bachelor's degree in Psychology at the University of Toronto, her MA degree in Child Development from the University of Michigan and the Merrill-Palmer Institute in Detroit, her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Delhi. In 1939 she married Russell Cook Smart, also a professor of Child Development, and not only her lifelong soul mate, but her professional partner as well. They taught Child Development, lectured, and published as a team at Merrill-Palmer Institute, Cornell University, University of Rhode Island, Massey University (New Zealand), University of Guelph (Canada), and Delhi University. Mollie wrote and published 26 books, including, with Russell, two best selling university text books in 4 editions. For many years she wrote a column for Parents Magazine and other popular magazines. Mollie and Russell were involved in setting up Head Start, as the well-being of children and families was their primary academic focus. In Washington she continued working for children through Babies in Need. (
Mollie was a member of the American Psychological Association, Society for Research on Child Development, National Council on Family Relations, Groves Conference, National Council on Family Relations, Phi Kappa Phi, Sierra Club, Democratic Party, Fulbright Association. She held Fulbright research grants in India and New Zealand. She travelled around the globe four times. She managed to keep her vow not to die until she had cast her vote for President Obama this year.
Mollie is survived by her three daughters, who in the family tradition are all PhDs, Susan Smith (Virginia), Laura Smart (Illinois), and Ellen Smart (Ridgefield).
A memorial service is planned at a later date.
If you wish to honor Mollie with a charitable contribution, please send it to Babies In Need, POB 65825, Vancouver, WA 98665.
Please sign her guest book at:

Published in The Columbian on Nov. 4, 2012