Barbara A. Smith, 71, of Rainbows End, Emporium, PA died suddenly, but peacefully at her residence early Friday morning (August 21, 2020). She was born February 15, 1949 in St. Marys, PA. She was a daughter of the late Mark J. and Regina Ann Kuntz Smith. She was married to the late Dr. John Hipps, MD. Barbie, as she like to be called was a graduate of Wilson High School of Wilson, NY. At an early age she was interested in the outdoors and animals of all types. She went on to study Biology at Rosary Hill College in Amherst, NY earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1971. Shortly after graduation she took her first job at the Sizerville State Park as a Park Ranger, which further solidified her love of nature. She continued this love throughout her life, educating herself on all forms of trees, flowers and wildlife across the Pennsylvania Wilds. Barbie was always willing to share her knowledge and gave talks and walks with anyone wanting to share the grandeur of nature. Barbie was also an adventurous spirit in the business world, where she embarked on a number of entrepreneur ventures, most of which were dedicated to the preservation and conservancy of the wilderness. She was a resident of Galeton, PA for some years, but gravitated to the Emporium area for much of her adult life embracing the plentiful green spaces. She and her husband John partnered in their mutual love of the outdoors, culminating in 1987 with the start of Rainbow’s End Nature Sanctuary and Wildflower Reserve. This sanctuary and reserve has been promoting the care of all creatures small and great as well as educating visitors for over 30 years. Barbie was the Princess of the Mountain as her husband lovingly called her. Barbie had a passion for many forms of music, was skilled at the organ and enjoyed singing. She was always willing to accompany or join in a sing-a-long. She enjoyed cooking and entertaining guests “up on the mountain”. In addition to promoting her love for nature in a personable setting, Barbie authored many articles for news print and composed poetry and stories of the wild. She was a welcomed guest speaker on wildflowers and the holistic control of invasive plants and animals. She was an avid hiker and loved to cross country ski and snow shoe. Barbie was a member of the Emporium Garden Club and the Emporium Chamber of Commerce. She took part in many community activities that were in or of the outdoors. She is survived by a sister, Mary Smith (Stephen Morse) of Virginia, six brothers, Stephen Smith of Oregon, George Smith (Seine) of Louisiana, Michael Smith (Bonnie) of Emporium, Richard Smith (Wendy) of York, David Smith (Tracy) of Maryland, James Smith (Elba) of Connecticut and 14 nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband. At her request there will be no visitation and a service will be arranged at a future date by the family. If desired, Memorials may be made to the North Country Trail Associations at https://northcountrytrail.org/giving-membership/donate-join/
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