I met Helen Oliveto Smith the second day I was in Price back in 2001 at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon and have watched in amazement the number of people touched by this lady. She has literally worked in the family business, Oliveto's Fine Furniture for 69 years in the same location in downtown Price.
Born in Sunnyside, she was in the middle of eight children. Her parents, both from Calbira, Italy were Louis and Elena Mele Oliveto. Louis opened a store in Sunnyside known as the Rockstore to many miners.
Helen married Earl Smith and they never had any children, but Helen, being from a large family was always there for her many nephews and nieces.
This isn't a column just to list the numerous organizations and activities. Many people are very active in community and church groups, but few make an impact on the community like Helen Smith. She was the first president of Soroptimist in 1954 and continues to serve the organization. She has also served as president of the Business and Professional Women organization. Both organizations serve women. She has served as a mentor for many women. "When young women come into my store to register their wedding I try to talk to them about being themselves after marriage. I tell them to learn how to spend their own money, make their own decisions and set goals for themselves."
Helen has perfected service. Either through the Castleview Hospital Board, Chamber of Commerce, or Notre Dame Church, she is always there to pitch it. "Giving it Back," is her motto, "I get more in return and all good comes back time and time again."
And the causes she supports, everything from cancer to kids, Helen's generous donations have helped build the community.
She says that her biggest influence were her parents who taught her to be a hard worker, have good morals and how to treat other people.
Helen still comes to work everyday and although I promised her I wouldn't print her age in the newspaper she says that age has nothing to do with how you feel. "It's all in the mind," she said with a big smile.
It is with people like Helen Oliveto Smith in mind that I began this column. They make such a difference and have an incredible impact on the people around them. Helen is truly one of the hearts of Carbon county.