Clifford Erwin Smith, 102, died Friday, December 3, 2021, at Clearwater Valley Hospital in Orofino.
He was born to Chester Arthur և Maud Alma Smith in 1919. On September 20, 1945, he considered the Clearwater Valley his home in Orofino or grew up in Missouri.
After her father died when her father was a child, her mother took her and her older sister to a family in Missouri. When the mother remarried, the father had three sisters, and over the years, six daughters joined the family. The father eventually became a farm boy in a family of ten daughters.
At a young age, his father returned to the West, where he met in February 1941 and married the love of his life, Margaret. For the next few years he worked on the railroad, and their first two children, Kent and Peggy, joined. family. Dad was drafted into the US Army during World War II and served in Europe. Shortly after his return, the family settled in the small town of Pek. My father lived there for over 75 years in a large old house near the city stairs.
Beginning in 1947, Dad’s working life revolved around the Riverside Lumber Company, where he began as a “pond rat” and eventually became a miller.
Although he worked hard, often coming home tired, he enjoyed his job at the mill. He has also been active in the community, helping to bring television to our city, working on library renovations, fighting floods and forest fires, helping to restore a cemetery, dancing to square dances and drinking at the Canyon Inn. Saturday nights.
As a family, we traveled, saw most of America, enjoyed gatherings with large family, friends, and loved living in the small town of Beijing. Our house was full of life and laughter, loss and tears.
After her father retired, she’s enjoyed the RV in the Southwest, especially with Ray’s Marie Vargi, traveled with family throughout America, and even traveled to Japan. When they were at home, he loved to start his day with the family շ dogs’s walk in the Old Farce Club.
The wood was in his blood, his favorite pastime was to take his chainsaw to the dogs (sometimes his mother) to the forest to make firewood. He took it home in his little red pickup, cut it into stove-sized pieces, and arranged it in neat rows, ready to heat the house in cold weather.
She cared for her mother at home through her long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, losing her in 2011. He stayed there at the family home until health problems took him to Broxide Landing in 2018, where he found a new home. He liked to joke, joke with the staff of his new community there, and soon settled there.
Dad loved Idaho, Mom և her family, her job, her friends և Pinocchio. In recent years, after losing his mother, he began to associate with the senior center of Orofino, he loved the wonderful food of Wanda. He enjoyed the weekly pinball games a lot. It was the most important event of the week if he had a high rating. For the past few years, he has enjoyed his birthday party the most when he was surrounded by family and friends.
Severely independent to the end, strong-willed and hardworking, he always tried to do something worthwhile every day to “pay his wages on planet Earth,” as he put it. Then, at the end of the day, he celebrated the day, sitting on a swing in the yard, with a drink in his hand, when the evening came down, whoever was there. Those were the best times.
The father was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret, his parents, all ten sisters, and one great-grandson.
He is survived by his six children, from Kent (Donna) Smith Loveland, Co; Peggy Keon Spokane, Washington; Craig (Jill) from Smith Clarkston; Mary Pat (William) from Slinkard Paluz; Mike (Judy) Smith of Santi, California; and Robin Christensen from Fruitland, ID.
He was much loved by his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as he enjoyed the friendly company of his nieces and nephews.
Shortly before moving from the Beck family home, he lost Buster և Barkley, his two dog friends who had been friends with him since his mother left. We hope they are in a loving crowd waiting for him, ready for this Beijing walk.
The family would like to thank Dad’s friends in Brooks, who made him feel at home, as well as the wonderful team of Clearwater Valley Hospital medical professionals who have helped Dad և and his family so much in his last days. Dr. Philip Peterson has been Dad’s doctor and friend for over 30 years.
A small grave service will be held Friday, December 10, at 10 a.m. at Clarkston Wineland Cemetery. The full celebration of Dad’s life will take place next summer at the family reunion at Tree Meadows, when we can all be there. More about that later if friends would like to join us.
Instead of flowers, please send donations to Orofino Senior Center, Box 1175, Orofino, ID 83544.