Phyllis Claudine Smith
January 22, 1929 - October 16, 2020
Phyllis Claudine Smith. On October 17, 2020 at the age of 91, Phyllis finally slipped her earthly bounds after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. She was born in Spokane, WA to Rudolf and Claudine Johnson. She attended the University of Washington where she earned her degree in nursing and where she also met and fell in love with her husband to be, Joseph Smith to whom she was married fifty-eight years.
Sixty-five years ago, and not long after marrying Joe, they moved to Salem, OR where she worked as an RN at Salem Memorial/Salem Hospital and started a family. The last seven years of her career, Phyllis worked at Chemeketa CC as a nursing instructor before retiring in 1985. Phyllis was very active most of her life, early on working as a life guard at a community pool and playing flute in a marching band. She enjoyed the out of doors and for many years was active with the Chemeketans outdoor group.
Phyllis was generous with her time and was always giving back to the community. She was a volunteer nurse for the Red Cross and chaperoned more events for her children and grandchildren than can be counted. She enjoyed travel, participated in many elder hostels and cruises and even tried zip-lining at the age of 84 while vacationing in Mexico. She also was an avid canner and enjoyed knitting and quilting. Since moving to Salem in 1955, Phyllis had been a very active member of Salem First Congressional Church, playing in their bell choir and served on every committee possible until her disease no longer allowed her to do so. Family was very important to Phyllis. She was a loving and ardent supporter of her husband’s, children’s and grandchildren’s activities.
She is pre-deceased by her parents, her husband Joe, her sister Ellen Lois (Hooven) and her daughter, Nancy Lee. She is survived by her sons, Doug (Michele) of Port Ludlow, WA, Greg of Salem, by her daughter Wendy of Harrisburg, OR and five grandchildren. Services are pending after a return to normal from COVID-19. The family especially wants to thank the staff of Capitol Manor and of Serenity Hospice for the wonderful care that was given to her. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to Alzheimer’s research or a charity of your choice.
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