Norman Davis Smith, born February 5, 1929, in Globe, Arizona, to L. W. and Blanche Rogers Smith, the last of four sons and a daughter, died Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Springville, Utah.
He attended Globe schools; graduated from Gila Jr. College in Thatcher, Arizona; served in the California Mission (LA) for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; attended BYU in Provo, Utah; and served as an Army clerk typist in the CIC at Ft. Holabird (Baltimore, MD).
In 1955, he married Mavis Moore in the Salt Lake City Temple. He earned his BS and MS at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. He taught in the Ajo, AZ schools and early morning seminary for his church for seven years. In Fremont, CA, he taught for 15 years. While living in Provo, he taught for 16 years in the Nebo schools in Goshen and Payson. He subbed for six years after that.
He and Mavis had four children; one died in infancy, after which Del was adopted in infancy, but died in 2009. Survivors include his children: Coreen (James) Atkinson, of American Fork; Denise (Cole) Valentine, of Springville; Derek (Kris) Smith, of Spanish Fork; and daughter- in-law, Jennifer Smith-Wolfe, of Oklahoma City, OK. Grandchildren number 13, Great grand- children 21.
His firm testimony in Jesus Christ fueled his activity in the LDS Church, serving in 24 positions. He also volunteered in the community as a county jail counselor, a reading program director, and a consultant in two LDS Family History centers. Recruiting for the RSVP program was one of his 38 supplemental jobs during his 38 years of teaching.
A viewing will be held on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Walker Funeral Home, Spanish Fork, followed by funeral services at Mt Loafer Ward building the next day, June 3, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be at the Utah Veteran’s Cemetery at Camp Williams. Donations are encouraged for his favorite LDS charity, Humanitarian Fund.
From Norman Davis Smith
What I Wanted to Say in My Obituary
Norman Davis Smith (Feb. 5, 1929- May 25, 2021)
For years I have wondered how long I would live. Now that I know, it doesn’t matter. I suppose you’d like some information so that you can be sure this notice isn’t you. (If this gets serious, you can bet one of the kids took over.) I’ve always wondered if it hurts to die. Well, it happened after I wrote this so you’ll have to wait and find out for yourself. And as to the other question I always look for in an obituary: what caused it? You have to talk to the family to find out because I don’t know yet. But I died, not because I wanted to, but because I stopped living due to some condition over which I lost out. (It was old age, he was 92 and sick only 1 month before he died)
My folks, Wick and Blanche, were children from polygamous grandparents on three of my four family lines in Snowflake and Joe City, Arizona. I feel that in 3 generations we polygamous offspring have proven that we were not imbeciles, but men and women of courageous character, meeting the challenge to rear children in righteous households. Despite my parents’ hard knocks building a milk production business in Globe, they emerged as the “last dairy standing” after about 14 years. Mom finally got her new house on the hill. By 1968 Dad learned the hard way that modernization takes volume and money. But they accomplished their goal in rearing a faithful family.
My early life in Globe was sheltered by my family and its consuming dairy activities and consistent activity in our small LDS ward. I liked learning in school and I got good grades. In high school I developed a skill in part-singing, played the cornet and French horn, sang in the chorus, but failed in piano, tennis and basketball. As a youth I thought I was always going to live in Globe which I loved. But life took a different turn.
I found many valuable and fun friends who had the same values I had during my two years at Gila Jr. College in Thatcher where I especially liked choral singing, band and plays. Since there had been no seminary in my high school, I really appreciated Institute.
My two years in the California Mission were pivotal in my life. Funny thing, I went clear to Salt Lake City for 10 days training, then to Los Angeles where I was immediately assigned to Ashfork where I was met at the bus and forwarded onto Cottonwood, only 150 miles from home in the neighboring county! Teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ was the only thing I felt I could “sell” as everything else I tried to sell later in life had its negatives. Traveling without purse or scrip for 18 months, my companion and I found hospitable people in Arizona (Cottonwood and Camp Verde) and California (El Centro, Wasco, and Delano).
After my brother, Glenn, found his wife at BYU, he got me to enroll in 1952. I didn’t get a wife, but I thoroughly enjoyed the great students and the Returned Missionaries’ chorus. When the Air Force ROTC learned that my ears were less than perfect, I found myself drafted into the Army at Ft. Ord. I avoided a Korean assignment by becoming a typist for the CIC in Baltimore. On Fridays I was a Washington D. C. Stake Missionary and on Saturdays I enjoyed the large young adult group activities where I met Mavis Moore, who accepted my proposal.
After being married in the Salt Lake City temple in 1955, we went to Tempe, where I finished my BS and MS degrees in History and Guidance at Arizona State College at Tempe (later: Arizona State University). Coreen was born in the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital there. We taught a Junior Genealogy class to some fine young people in the Second Ward.
My brother-in-law, Malin Lewis, persuaded me to begin the first seminary classes in Ajo, where I taught school seven years, including high school history, seventh and sixth grades. I also served as ward clerk. Denise and Derek were born there, but Bevan only lived a day. I suffered appendicitis, but with a blessing and a new drug, penicillin, I got over the gangrene. We managed a family history trip to England in 1960. Mavis gathered our ancestral family histories and we both did family research. I worked part-time for the Lewis and Embleton businesses.
We moved to Fremont, California in 1964 where I taught Educable Mentally Retarded children ten years and elementary classes six years and served in the stake mission in various capacities. Del was adopted in 1966 and the kids got their schooling there. We enjoyed BYU tours of the Eastern Mediterranean and later Egypt with our inheritances. We gained many good friends. Denise married, Coreen served a mission, and Derek finished high school. We wanted to get Del away from his wayward friend, so we moved to Provo.
Among excellent friends, we enjoyed the sixteen years in Provo where Coreen married and Derek served a mission and married. Del graduated from high school at the Provo Canyon School, married and raised a family in Oklahoma where he later died of cancer. We served at the BYU Family History Library as well as other capacities like a singles ward. My commute to Goshen school got shorter when I was assigned to Park View, Payson. Before retirement in 1996, we moved to Spanish Fork in 1993.
Again we met many new friends and served in various church callings. After retiring at age 66, I picked up substitute teaching for six years which I really enjoyed. I worked as a recruiter for Retired and Senior Volunteer Program for several years and served as a consultant at the county jail and at the Spanish Fork Family History Center. My interest in helping children learn to read led me to direct literacy centers at three schools. Two boys in town were my mentees for a few years.
I learned a lot; such as, Keep your mouth closed and people will think you are smart. However, I like to hear others contribute to the lesson, so I do too. Service for others brings a lot of happiness. Gratitude builds character. Family comes first.
(Well, kids. If you publish this, you won’t have any inheritance left. Read it at my funeral and save yourselves some cash, or maybe better still, round-file it.)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 947 0886 9060