Lois Arlene Smith

Lois Arlene SmithBeloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother Lois Arlene Smith passed away Dec. 26, 2019, at Bella Sera Skilled Nursing Facility. She was 99.

Arlene was born in 1920 in Tribbey, Okla., to Roy and Lucy Overturf. She was raised on a farm with her four siblings and graduated from Asher High School in Pottawatomie County. Arlene recollected many stories about farm living and growing up in Indian country. She married James William “Bill” Smith in 1940 in Independence, Mo.

Bill and Arlene moved to Benicia, where he enlisted and deployed during World War II, and she supported war-effort industries and had their two children. In 1950 Bill and Arlene moved to China Lake in search of work and a community in which to raise their two sons.

Arlene’s faith was the center of her life, and she was a servant of the Lord. Arlene was a prayer warrior for her family, and in later years she could be heard stating that all she could do was pray for a situation. Her family and friends felt the blessings of her prayers.

She had been a member of the Ridgecrest Church of Christ since 1952. Over the years Arlene enjoyed teaching Sunday school, where so many considered her their grandma, and preparing weekly communion for church services.

Love was the foundation of Arlene’s life. She expressed love to all, family, friends, caregivers and even strangers. She taught the importance of loving one another and that there was enough love in this world to be shared with everyone. She learned from her own experiences in life and shared the wisdom of hard lessons, helping to ease the burdens of family and friends. Arlene was a wonderful teacher of the fundamentals of life.

Arlene dedicated 23 years as a cook and food service manager in the Sierra Sands Unified School District. She had a wealth of knowledge in matters of the kitchen and taught several generations of the Smith family how to cook using proper techniques and recipes that will be cherished. Arlene was a skilled seamstress and loved to quilt.

She taught several generations of Smith women how to sew and could be found throughout her life making clothes for her sons and dresses for her granddaughter. She had been a member of the Hi Desert Quilt Guild and Thimble Pushers Group for many years, where she enjoyed the fellowship and creativity of the local quilting community.

Arlene had been an active member of the Retired Public Employees Association. In her later years, Arlene found satisfaction in volunteering at the local Alzheimer’s daycare facility and visiting friends at Beverly Manor Convalescent Hospital. Arlene found lifelong friendships in her religious, work, hobby and volunteer activities, which she treasured.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Roy and Lucy Overturf; husband of 52 years, James William “Bill” Smith; sisters, Wanda Wyman and Bea Stinnett; brother, Aubrey Overturf; and many dear friends, especially Miriam Martin, Mary Virginia Pack and Stella Stillwell.

Arlene leaves behind her dear sister, June Young of Proberta; sons Gary Smith and wife Cheryl of Carson City, Nev., and Craig Smith and wife Colleen of Ridgecrest; grandson, Russell Smith and wife Denise of Ridgecrest; granddaughter, Stephanie and husband Oscar Hernandez of Ridgecrest; great-grandchildren, Orion Smith of Ridgecrest, Helena Arlene Hernandez of Ridgecrest and Izabella and Gabe Glantz; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews, all of whom she loved dearly.

Arlene was very grateful for all who cared for and spent time with her in her ailing years. She could often be heard stating how “richly blessed” she was, in spite of her pain and discomfort.

Arlene requested a private commitment of ashes ceremony at Desert Memorial Park in the rose garden, which will be held later. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation in Arlene’s name to a charity of choice.

— Submitted by the family of Arlene Smith

Story First Published: 2020-01-10