On September 14, 2017, our Heavenly Father reunited Maritta Darlene Smith with her beautiful parents and loving husband of 56 years. Darlene was born on December 17, 1932, in a little house next to the Stronghurst, Illinois post office. She was the first of four children to parents Arlo and Eva Boggs. Brothers Don and Ron, and sister Bonnie preceded Darlene on their journey Home. In early 1953 Darlene met a young Navy man while he was on leave and despite her lengthy efforts to ignore him; she finally gave in and became Tony Smith’s wife on June 13, 1954.
Being a “Navy wife” meant many moves and sacrifices, but Darlene always wanted to live the “military life” and her strength and determination made all the difference. The other big dream for Darlene was to have a family and on October 24, 1956, in Brighton MA she brought her first child into this world – a little boy named Michael. Seven years later she welcomed a second son, David, born August 10, 1963, in San Diego CA. Finally a little girl, Therese, made the family complete in 1967.
After Tony retired from the Navy in 1971, the family moved to be near Darlene’s parents in Houston, TX. Then everyone moved to Phoenix AZ in 1975 to live closer to Darlene’s sister. Darlene’s husband passed away in 2010 and she, along with her son and daughter-in-law moved to Flagstaff AZ where she joyously spent her last three years finally seeing leaves change in the fall and snowflakes fall in January. Darlene’s greatest joy was watching football and when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in May, 2017, she said her biggest goal was to make it to watch another football game. Five days before she passed Darlene saw the NAU Lumberjacks play in person.
Darlene is survived by her sons Mike and Dave, her daughter Therese, two daughter-in-laws Amy and Sharon, 10 grandkids and 8 great-grandkids. A mass celebrating Darlene’s life will be held September 26, 2017, at 1:15pm at the San Francisco de Asis Catholic Church in Flagstaff AZ.