Shirley Smith

Obituary of Shirley Ann Smith

Shirley Ann Smith, 96, of Olympia, Washington, passed away on February 3, 2024, after a brief illness.  She was born on April 12,1927, to Lloyd and Clara Kemmerer, in Colville, Washington.


Shirley was raised with her dear brother, Walter, on her parents’ small dairy farm in Swiss Valley, outside of Addy, Washington. Shirley excelled in school, particularly in grammar and algebra, and was class salutatorian. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology at the University of Washington in 1948 and a teaching certificate at Eastern Washington University in 1950. 


Shirely met her future husband, Merrill Smith, the year following her freshman year in college. They wed in 1950 and proceeded to raise four children, Ray, Ann, Steve, and Adrienne. After spending their early years of married life in Chewelah, Washington, the family moved to Waterville, Washington, where Merrill served as the school superintendent. 


Shirley quickly became attached to the Waterville community and its beautiful surroundings. She participated in the Philomathic Club and P.E.O., through which she formed many meaningful friendships and became actively involved with the community. In her later years, Shirley discovered an affinity for keeping books and served as the Douglas County Historical Society treasurer.


Shirley loved the four Bs: babies, birds, bridge, and books. She was a devoted mother and grandmother. Shirley enjoyed birding throughout her life, and in her final years, observed numerous species from her perch at the kitchen table. Playing bridge, especially with her regular bridge partners, was a highlight of her life. As a life-long learner, Shirley loved reading nonfiction, especially the history of the Big Bend region. She completed the NYT daily crossword and other word puzzles until her final days.


Shirley enjoyed traveling throughout the west with Merrill in their truck and camper, following his retirement. She also traveled to Switzerland to visit family and to Egypt. Shirley enjoyed many family vacations at their Little Pend Oreille Lake property in Stevens County. She enjoyed attending many Chewelah High School Reunions over the years. Finally, she treasured her many friends.


Shirley is survived by her four children, eight grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband in 2008.


In remembrance of Shirley’s life, the family suggests donations to the P.E.O., Chapter Z, Scholarship Fund c/o Diane Petersen, PO Box 59, Waterville, WA 98858.

Please leave condolences or share memories and photos on the Tribute Wall to the left.









To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shirley Smith, please visit Tribute Store
A Memorial Tree was planted for Shirley
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Funeral Alternatives of Washington - Tumwater
Share Your Memory of