Death of Professor Emerita Martha Stribling Smith-Trout

The longtime English faculty member passed away Nov. 1.

<span style=”font-size: 13.9997px;”>Professor Emerita of English Martha Stribling Smith-Trout.</span>
Professor Emerita of English Martha Stribling Smith-Trout died Tuesday, November 1, 2016, at the Memory Care Center of Twin Lakes Community in Burlington. 

She joined the English faculty in 1964 and continued to teach until her retirement in 1994. During her career at Elon, she served as chair of the English department and of the Academic Council, and participated in the creation of the Communications Department and of the Women’s Studies Program. She also accompanied several groups of Elon students on study abroad semesters in England. Two awards are endowed in her honor: the Martha S. Smith Endowed Fund for Faculty Development and the Martha Smith Award for Women’s and Gender Studies. Smith-Trout was a recipient of the Elon Medallion, the university’s highest honor for meritorious service to the university.

Smith-Trout was not only a scholar and dedicated teacher but also an avid reader and an active supporter of the political and social causes that she believed in. She helped found the Child Development Center at First Presbyterian Church in Reidsville, NC. She was involved in the founding of the Women’s Resource Center of Burlington and served on its board for some years. She was also an active member and Elder of First Presbyterian Church of Burlington.

Martha was married in 1949 to the Rev. Samuel C. Smith, who was pastor of Presbyterian churches in Easley and Lancaster, SC, and Reidsville and Burlington, NC. Rev. Smith died in 1971 while serving Westview Presbyterian Church in Burlington. Late in Martha’s life, she found a new love in the person of John H. (Jack) Trout, and they were married on February 6, 2010. This brought Jack’s children and grandchildren into her family, a source of joy in her last years.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, David F. Smith and Judy Hinderliter Smith of Durham; her step-daughter Ruth Ann Smith of Burton Center, Lexington, SC; Jack’s daughter Susan Nichols and her husband Jim of Boxford, MA, and their children Brian and Kristin; and Jack’s son David Trout and his wife Betty of Murrysville, PA, and their children Carley and Jeff.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, November 6, at 4:00 pm, at the Williams Chapel of The First Presbyterian Church, 508 West Davis Street, Burlington, NC, with Dr. Ronald Shive officiating. A reception will follow at the church. Rich and Thompson Funeral Home of Burlington is handling the funeral arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to First Presbyterian Church of Burlington, Elon University, or the Women’s Resource Center of Burlington.