Cover photo for Mary Ann Smith's Obituary
Mary Ann Smith Profile Photo

Mary Ann Smith

November 29, 1939 — November 21, 2023

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Mary Ann Smith

 

Our beloved Mom, Grami, M.A. passed away peacefully on November 21 surrounded by family members at Schneidmiller Hospice House.
Having no hospital in rural Payette, Idaho; Mary Ann Berry was born in Ontario, Oregon on November 29, 1939. She and her parents, Ray Berry and Ena (Dresser) Berry moved to Nez Perce, Idaho when she was a young girl. Growing up in the small farming community of Nez Perce, surrounded by family and lifelong friends, laid the foundation for the values she embodied throughout her life. She was a “TK” or teacher’s kid with both parents teaching in the Nez Perce school system, educating her and all her friends. It was a community where everyone knew one another and helped those in need.
She was active in many elements of the community, playing the piano for various events, participating in multiple high school activities, working as a soda jerk at the local drugstore, and providing support during the harvest on her Aunt and Uncle’s farm. It was during this time her lifelong love of animals was fostered.
Mary Ann graduated from Nez Perce High School in the class of ’58 with 17 other classmates. She attended the University of Idaho where she met her husband, Jack Rayl Smith. They married in Nez Perce in the summer of 1960 and relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where Jack was enrolled in dental school at Marquette University. She enjoyed the few years they lived in Milwaukee, working various jobs and absorbing the unique culture the Midwest offered. It was here, their first daughter, Shari, was born in 1963.
They returned to Jack’s hometown of Buhl, Idaho; where he established his dental practice in Twin Falls, Idaho. In 1966 they welcomed their second daughter, Staci. They purchased a home on 40 acres of farmland and in 1971, Lisa, their third daughter, joined the family. With a home engrossed in activity, Mary Ann was the calm at the center of the storm. Much of the activity was brought about by a rotating cast of animals including St. Bernards, Shelties, horses, cows, a mix of cats, a goat and geese. She was
fond of picking up strays. A friend once said, “when I die, I want to come back as one of Mary Ann’s pets.” She coordinated and supported the family’s activities from being an active member of Valley Christian Church to involvement in 4-H. She kept a large garden and shared her produce with others. Idaho history and the Oregon Trail always held her interest. The family would load in the wood-paneled station wagon to seek out trail ruts in the sagebrush of Southern Idaho. As the girls grew, she became a “horse show mom”. Even though riding was not her thing, she trailered the horses and the kids to the events. Antiques, particularly Victorian Napkin rings, were another hobby. The home was decorated in an eclectic mix of antique furniture and clocks. She was an active member of the Twin Falls Chapter D PEO and belonged to a local bridge club. The friends and connections of the Twin Falls community held a special place in Mary Ann’s heart.
A defining moment in her life’s journey was the sudden passing of Jack in 1985. In the period following his death, she was resolved to parenting her children and managing the household until the farm was sold a few years later. While attending a Nez Perce High School reunion, she reconnected with a High School friend, Sherman Stapleton. Mary Ann and Sherm lived together for over 30 years. Most of those years were spent in the Coeur d’Alene area. Living in North Idaho allowed Mary Ann to reconnect with her Nez Perce roots and rekindle her love for the University of Idaho Vandals. She and Sherm travelled, played golf and enjoyed winters in Tucson. She was a devoted Gonzaga basketball fan. She formed many deep and lasting friendships during this period of her life. Coeur d’Alene became the hub of family get-togethers over the last 20 years. A Summer highlight was the annual “Cousins Birthday” party. The families gathered to enjoy each other and the outdoor activities of the region. During this time, a themed group birthday party was held complete with presents and a cake for the Smith cousins providing lasting memories for the group. What best defined Mary Ann was her hospitality, grace and sense of humor. She opened all her homes to individuals who needed someone to listen and offered friendship. She worked hard to make Thanksgiving and Christmas meals special for her family and included others who may not have had family or a place to go.
Mary Ann was preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Ena Berry and her first husband, Jack. Surviving her are her daughters: Shari (Mike) Lyon of Coeur d’Alene, ID, Staci (Keith) Hirschman of White Salmon, WA and Lisa (Rod) White of Meridian, ID; grandchildren: Emily (Michael) Hirschman-Schoen (San Jose, CA), Joshua Lyon (North Pole, AK), Erik Hirschman (Boston, MA) , Colton White (Meridian, ID), Jack Lyon (Boise, ID), Courtney White (Meridian, ID) and Claire White (Meridian, ID); great-
granddaughter: Olivia Schoen; her very significant other, Sherm Stapleton (Post Falls, ID) his daughter Michele (Lou) Albrecht (Post Falls, ID); grandchildren Madison Agnew (San Diego, CA), Louie Albrecht (Renton, WA) and Leo Albrecht; (Renton, WA); Randall Koch (FL).
The family would like to thank the staff at Orchard Ridge Memory Care for their commitment and compassion in supporting Mary Ann’s care over the last 18 months. Another thank you to the staff of Schneidmiller Hospice House for their comfort and care of her and the family.
The family is planning to honor Mary Ann’s life Spring/Summer 2024. Please reach out to one of the family members for details.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to your local animal shelter in Mary Ann’s memory.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Ann Smith, please visit our flower store.

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