Laura Smith

Obituary of Laura J. Smith

Laura J. Smith, age 71, a resident of Lacey, Washington, for the past five years, passed away Friday, August 27, 2021, at 7:30 a.m. in Providence St. Peter Hospital in Lacey of a sudden, massive heart attack.

Laura was born October 20, 1949, in Peoria, Illinois, to Oscar M. and Eunice (Winship) Smith. She was preceded in death by her father, Oscar, in 1977; her mother, Eunice, in 1983; and her brother, Bradley Smith, in 2012.

Laura is survived by her sister, Sharon (Michael) Menold of Princeville, Illinois; nephews, Ryan (Shari), Derek (Wendy); niece, Kara (Brad) Martin; and nine great nieces and nephews, all of IllinoisIn addition, she is survived by a number of cousins and their families, in both Illinois and Washington State.

Laura grew up in Peoria, Illinois, and graduated from Peoria High School. Her grandfather, Walter Winship, of Putnam, Illinois, loved to travel, and was proud having been to all states in the U.S., plus Canada and Mexico.  Laura inherited this love of travel. She lived and worked in, and traveled through a number of states, but the Western U.S. was always her favorite. For the past 25 years, she lived several places in Oregon, but mainly in Washington State. She always had a special love for the Pacific Ocean.

Laura was an avid book collector. She had numerous hardbound reference books on her interest areas. She liked plants and flowers.  Friends were amazed that, on finding an unknown plant on a walk, Laura could take a leaf and, from her reference books, find the correct identification. She also liked books on areas of the country, history, old timey things, birds, animals and chickens. She also collected, bought and sold antique Fenton glass, and other glassware from that era, an interest she learned from her mother.

She had a special love for animals.  For years her Beagle dogs were a big part of her life, and she often talked about how much she missed them when they were gone.

Because of Covid, travel distances, and Laura’s wishes, there will be no in-person service or life celebration.  Laura’s ashes will be scattered next summer in the Pacific Ocean off the beautiful Oregon coast, where she lived for a time.

With no memorial service, of course no flowers can be sent. But in lieu of flowers, if you want to contribute something in her name or memory, here are some ideas: The American Heart Association is a good choice.  Also, if you have a favorite organization that echo’s Laura’s life interests, any choice would also be a great tribute to her life.

For information on the scattering of ashes in Oregon next summer, please contact Mary (Winship) Merritt at:

Laura, we will miss you so much. We will miss your letters, your travel experiences, your concern and care for friends and neighbors, and for letting us share your life adventures

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