The Official Newspaper for Foster County

Obituary: Elma Smith

Elma Smith

Elma Irene Smith passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on January 25, 2024, at the Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd in New Rockford, N.D., at age 90. Elma was under Hospice care.

Elma's visitation was Monday from 2:00-4:00 p.m., with family present at Evans Funeral Home, New Rockford and Tuesday, January 30, 2024, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 2:00 p.m., all at First Lutheran Church, New Rockford, N.D., with Pastor Amy Kippen officiating. Kerstin Allmaras was organist. Congregational hymn was "Softly & Tenderly." Soloist was Patrick Loree. Songs were "On Eagle's Wings," "Precious Lord Take My Hand," and "The Lord's Prayer." Her burial was at the Kvernes Lutheran Cemetery, Carrington, N.D.

Pallbearers were all of her grandchildren.

Honorary bearers were all of Elma's family and friends.

Elma Irene (Edwardson) Smith was born on February 11, 1933, to Edward and Elvida (Halvorson) Edwardson at the family farm, in Nordmore Township, rural Carrington, N.D. Elma was the fourth child in a family of seven. She was baptized in March of 1933 and confirmed in December of 1946 at Kvernes Lutheran Church in rural Carrington, N.D. Elma held strong to her faith and loved to attend church and later in life listening to church services on the radio from the comfort of her home.

Elma attended Nordmore Estrabrook County Schools and High School in Carrington, N.D. She was married to Lester P. Smith on November 9, 1951, at Kvernes Church. They resided and farmed in rural Sheyenne, N.D., where they raised four daughters and cared for several foster children.

In 1982, they purchased the Longhorn Saloon in Sheyenne. Elma was very proud of her daughters. Whether it be her own daughters, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or family friends, she was always surrounded by children. Elma had a way of making sure everyone was taken care of and no one ever went hungry, whether it was a meal at her home or a treat at a business establishment.

Her compassion for family and friends extended into her choice of employment. She loved being around people. She was employed at the New Rockford Hospital, Tastee Freeze in Sheyenne, Social Services, and several other places.

In 1986, she started employment with the 4th Corporation in New Rockford. In 1987, she moved to New Rockford. Elma really treasured the years with the people she cared for and her co-workers.

In 2004, she started working for Support Systems, caring for an individual who lived in New Rockford. During these years of employment, she received her Developmental Disability Curriculum requirements for N.D. from Minot State University in 1988.

Elma was also an EMT for the New Rockford Ambulance at one time. Her work ethic and compassion for people are such a source of pride to her family. In her mid-80's she reluctantly retired.

Elma enjoyed going to concerts, plays, musicals, the casino, and shopping. She enjoyed going on trips, eating out with family and friends and driving around. Her biggest compassion was sitting on her front porch sharing good conversation with Kathy Allard and anyone who would stop for a visit.

Elma is survived by her four daughters, Deanna Erickson, New Rockford, N.D., Denise Hanson, Fargo, N.D., Pamela Loree, Minot, N.D., and Patricia Smith, Fargo, N.D. She is survived by 13 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter: Christopher (Bobbie) Bichler and their four children, Hannah (Jarret) and her daughter, Haddie, Abigail, Dashyl and Riley; Carissa (Darin) Engstrom and their two children Olivia and Carter; Travis Hanson, Thea (James) Grindeland and their daughter, Estelle; Paul Loree, Patrick Loree and his two children, Liam and Eliza; Bethany (Dave) Lindsay and their two children, Charity and Gabriella; Phillip (Sabrina) Loree, Payton Loree, Jeremy Smith-Nerlien, Jade (Makenzie) Smith-Nerlien and their two children, Emmett and Zoe; Tiffany Smith-Nerlien and Tate Smith-Nerlien and several special nieces and nephews.

Elma's family was very special to her and she cherished any time she had with them.

Elma is preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Mary Ellen and Verna Mae; four brothers, James, Edwin, Elvin, and Norman; her former husband, Lester P. Smith and son-in-law, Richard Nerlien.

Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home, Carrington and New Rockford, N.D.