Metairie, Louisiana- Bertha Bidart Smith, a caring and wonderful woman who held many roles- wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, teacher - died peacefully in her home on November 28, 2019. Losing her on Thanksgiving Day, we choose to remember all that we had to be thankful for with the life that she led. She came to this country as a toddler with her parents in 1941. Growing up with her sister Odette in San Francisco, she was surrounded by a wide variety of culture and developed a love of music, good food, and the arts. While she enjoyed learning about and experiencing the traditions of other cultures, she held her heritage close to her heart, always ready and willing to share stories about the Basque Country, where her family originated. Through hard work and determination, she completed her education to become a teacher that impacted the lives of so many children. She received much joy from working with her students- opening their eyes to the wonder and beauty of the world around them. Bertha relocated from California to Louisiana to be with the man she loved, John W. Smith, Jr. They were married in Kramer, Louisiana on June 18, 1966 which began a 53 yearlong union. Over these many years, they shared countless adventures together: having two loving children, Aaron and Jennifer, spending time with many cherished friends, and exploring the world with trips taken across the globe. Her strong sense of family was easily felt by all who knew her, and that continued with the birth of her two treasured granddaughters, Abby and Katie. She liked nothing better than spending time together with her loved ones, and her lightheartedness, generosity, and quick wit will be missed dearly.
Bertha is survived by her spouse, John W. Smith, Jr.; her children, Aaron John Smith (Carmen) and Jennifer Smith Orillion (Michael); and her grandchildren, Abigail Orillion (17) and Katherine Orillion (15); her sister, Odette Catalaa (Georges Catalaa); and her three nephews: Christian, Jean-Marc, and Daniel Catalaa. She is preceded in death by her mother and father, the late Samson and Jeanne Bidart.
Funeral services will be held at Our Lady of Divine Providence Church, 1000 N. Starrett Rd. Metairie, LA 70001 on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 with visitation from 10:00 am -12:00 noon and the Mass beginning at 12:00 noon. Interment will follow in St. Hilary Resurrection Mausoleum in Raceland, LA.