Tell Us Your Story | River Terrace| Mary Lou and Don



My husband Donald was born in Huntington, IN in 1922. One of eight children he had plenty of companionship. Upon graduation from high school he joined the U.S. Army. He served in England, France, Belgium and Germany until the end of the war. He was recognized in a military book for taking his men into battle. Don was a Staff Sergeant as well as a Tank Commander. He is a talented woodworker and built us a beautiful home on Irish Lake. Since living at River Terrace in Bluffton, Indiana, he has had an art show by request at the local creative arts center. His art forms include inlaid wood pictures. 

During our working years, Don and I helped organize a music business in South Whitley, Indiana, called Fox Products. Don helped produce a musical instrument called the Bassoon. His work is found in major symphonies around the world!  Don and I were married in 1948. He has been a wonderful husband and father to our four children. We have five grandchildren, who are all college graduates, as well as six great grandchildren. 

I was born in Huntington, Indiana in 1927. There were four children in the family. I graduated from high school in 1945, during these school days I played Oboe and the English Horn with the Fort Wayne Symphony. On weekends I would travel by train to Chicago for music lessons. Upon graduation there was a decision to be made, either I could accept a full scholarship to school or play in the Chicago Symphony. I decided school could wait. While in Chicago I played with various music groups as well as the Symphony. 

My name was entered in a talent and beauty contest and to my surprise I was first runner up. I also found time to attend classes at Northwestern University. While visiting in Huntington I was introduced to Don just b who was just back from service. That was the end of Chicago for me. We were married the following year. While raising our family, I started a music business called the M.L.Smith Reed Co. 

We had four children, all college graduates; when our oldest started college it was time for me to start. I have a BS in Education, two Master Degrees plus 18 hours toward a Doctorate. While Head Librarian at Warsaw High School, I took students to over 15 countries. Some of those students later studied in Europe as well as myself. The highlight of my professional career was being named Woman of the Year by Cambridge University in England. Following this, my biography appeared in several Who's Who publications as well as the International Dictionary of Biographies. I also served as an officer on several Boards of Directors in Texas and Indiana. God is the one that should be given all the credit for allowing me so many opportunities 

Don and I are now living at River Terrace Retirement Community in Bluffton and at the ages of 88 and 93 we are still enjoying life. There is so much to do here, such nice people, and yes, we still travel!

Mary Lou and Don - Residents at River Terrace