She was born in Colorado Springs on February 24, 1926. She was the daughter of the late Alfred Brown and Lucy Jones Brown. Dr. Brown was the superintendent of the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind for many years.
Persis was the granddaughter of Asa T. Jones, a Colorado Springs pioneer who came to cure his tuberculosis from Spencer, Massachusetts. He was a leading businessman in Colorado Springs and “gave birth to many charities” (Sun newspaper, July 24, 1972). He built the Cheyenne Building now home to Phantom Canyon Brewing Company on the corner of Pikes Peak and Cascade Avenue.
Persis went to Columbia Elementary School, North Junior High and the Colorado Springs School before graduating from the Williston Northampton School for Girls in Easthampton, Mass. She graduated from Vassar College and received a Masters Degree at the University of Denver in child psychology. She worked at the Rocky Mountain Rehabilitation Center in Colorado Springs for 15 years.
Persis was married four times to wonderful men. First, to the late Wessel Ruhtencrantz Von Ruhtenberg and then to John Max Wolf of the Wolf Ranch in Black Forest. She later married Myron Wood, the well-known photographer. Finally, she was married to the late Dr. Robert Smith for 22 years. He preceded her in death at 99 years in 2012. He was one of the founding doctors of the Colorado Springs Medical Center.
Persis Smith was an accomplished painter, studying for years under the well-known local artist Herman Raymond. She was a member of the Broadmoor Garden Club, Tuesday Club and the Colonial Dames Society. She volunteered for years at Silver Key, was a member of Grace and St. Stephens Episcopal Church and was an active member of and donor to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.
She is survived by her daughters, Lucy Lewis of Colorado Springs, Persis Schlosser of Castle Rock, Colorado, five grandchildren, one great-grandchild and eleven step-children.