Patricia Ann Rhay

Patricia Ann Rhay: December 19, 1924 ~ February 13, 2012

(BHS class of 1943)

A fiercely courageous, loyal and passionate woman, Patricia Ann Rhay, left our world February 13, 2012.

Patricia Ann Smith was born December 19, 1924, in Minneapolis, MN to Thomas Edwin Smith and Lillian Adele Olsen-Smith. Her family moved to Seattle in 1928, where she graduated from Ballard High School and remained a very proud Ballard Beaver Graduate of 1943.

She lived through the Great Depression, and the death of her first husband, Richard Irwin Tracy (O'Dea HS/1943), who died while serving on the USS Indianapolis in WWII.

Pat moved to Walla Walla, WA in 1943 to care for her brother and sister after the death of her mother, while her father was Warden of the Washington State Penitentiary. There she met and married her second husband, Bobby J Rhay in March 1949. After two years in New York, the couple returned to Walla Walla and, in 1957, Bob became Warden of the Washington State Penitentiary.

This incredible woman raised seven girls, Kathleen T Ferguson, Colleen C Rhay, Maureen O Hollister, Bridgid B Smith, Megan I Sweeters, Patricia D Rhay and Ann E Rhay on the grounds of the prison in Walla Walla. Her protectiveness and love for all of us was and remains our anchor for life. She is survived by her seven daughters, 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, brother James Thomas Smith and sister Barbara Jean Ashmore.

Services were held February 18, 2012 in Walla Walla. As a breast cancer survivor, Patricia would like any donations in her memory be made to Susan G. Koman Foundation. Please sign the online guestbook at

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