School 07

Patrick "Pat" M. Smail

December 6, 1936 ~ March 12, 2022 (age 85)


On Saturday, March 12, 2022, Patrick M. "Pat" Smail of Galeton, PA, passed away peacefully at age 85 surrounded by his family, at the Mimbres Memorial Hospital in his adopted second hometown of Deming, New Mexico.

Pat (as he was known to family and friends) was born on December 6, 1936 near Leechburg, PA, the only child of Elmer "Fritz" and Agnes (Shields) Smail, and grew up in the area. He graduated from Leechburg High School in 1955 and, on April 2, 1958, married his high school sweetheart, Nancy Schaeffer. They raised four children, Bruce, Tracey (daughter), Jeffrey and Bradley. Pat graduated from Slippery Rock State Teachers College in 1960, and soon after began teaching high school American history, government, and English in Galeton, PA. In the early years, he was an advisor for several high school yearbooks, took his government class on a trip to Washington, DC, and coached boys’ basketball for six seasons. He earned a master's degree from Mansfield State College. Pat also served on the Galeton borough council in the early 1980s and, after a thirty-year career at Galeton High, retired from teaching in 1990.

Pat found his calling as the American Legion baseball coach in Galeton starting in the mid- 1960s, finally retiring (for the third time) in 2006. While a talented high school baseball player in his own right, and a lifelong Pirate fan, he had a passion for coaching and teaching the game to his players, assistant coaches and student scorekeepers (all volunteers). Over the years, many of his teams competed for playoffs and league championships, while often the underdog against bigger schools and programs. In retirement Pat enjoyed the mountains, wildlife, birds, back roads and scenic vistas of northern PA. He hunted, trapped and fished for many years. He was an avid gardener, and knew where to find ginseng and wild mushrooms. In the early 1990s he was involved in a project to save a local, Depression-era cabin built and used by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). He made custom knives and was fascinated with nearby windmill farms. Pat and Nancy became snowbirds in 1999 and spent winters in Deming, New Mexico, where he was very active in the rock collectors club and its’ annual show, the Rockhound Roundup. Pat is survived by his wife Nancy, their four children, three daughters-in-law, a son-in-law, eleven grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.

A memorial service has been planned for May 28th, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Galeton, at the corner of Pine & Adams, at 11am, with lunch to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be sent to the Galeton Public Library, 5 Park Lane, Galeton, PA 16922.

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