Loretta Smith achieves HAM radio certification at age 91

Loretta Smith

Loretta Smith, age 91, resident of Cedarview Place assisted living, has joined the newest class of certified HAM radio operators in Texas.

Inspired by Pastor George Yarger of Harbor Baptist Church in Payne Springs, Loretta decided to pursue her HAM radio license.

Yarger spoke of his experience serving communities in times of disaster with his knowledge of HAM radio communication, and Smith knew she could provide the same help in Gun Barrel City, if she was certified.

Smith worked with the activity director at Cedarview Place to understand the process of becoming certified, and three other residents decided to join Smith in the course.

For a period of weeks, the four studied and prepared for the certification test.

“It was tough,” Smith says. “I learned so much about electricity that if you needed new wiring run in your home, I could do it!”

Smith and her friends found the course work to be interesting and enjoyable.

On Nov. 3, Smith and resident Yeager Markin achieved the first level of HAM radio certification with excellent scores. The other residents pursuing certification will take their tests at a later date.

There are two additional HAM radio certifications, and Smith is considering pursuing them.  

“I am pleased to have the certification, because I know in a disaster, if all the power goes out, we will be able to call for help, and let people know how we are,” Smith says.

Lifelong learning is something Smith believes in, and always has. As the wife of a career military man, Smith was able to follow him on assignment, thanks to her ability to transfer with her employer, Southwestern Bell.  

After retirement, Smith and her husband moved to the Cedar Creek Lake area.

“We bought an RV when Branson was beginning to become a popular vacation destination. So, I thought I’d go back to school, because it would be fun to RV up to Branson, and find a job.”

Smith attended Eastfield College in Mesquite, studying hotel management, and becoming a certified activities director. After completing the program, Smith began her second career as the activities director at the skilled nursing community where her mom lived.

Smith is a member of the Tamarack Ladies Club, and has served as their president. She is a lifetime member of Disabled Veterans and the Cedar Creek Garden Club.

She was recognized in October of this year by the Veterans of American Wars for her years of volunteer service.

Smith currently serves as one of two resident ambassadors for the Cedarview Place Assisted Living.