Juanita ‘Neta’ Smith

Juanita (Neta) Smith passed away on Feb. 11, 2014, at Southwest Memorial Hospital in Cortez at age 98.

Juanita was born on Feb. 7, 1916, to Jesse D. and Annie (Langely) Bright in Holdenville, Okla. Per her wishes, there was a private graveside service held on Feb. 13, 2014.

At the age of 5, she and her family attended a “brush arbor” revival held by the Church of Christ – she said that when she left there, she decided that was what she wanted in life. She was baptized at age 15, added to the Church of Christ and was a lifelong member.

Neta and her family moved from Holdenville to Pawnee, Okla., in a covered wagon when she was 6 years old.

She graduated from the eighth grade at Hopewell School. At age 44, she obtained her GED in Enid, Okla.

She was the only one of her family to move from the Pawnee area and was the last survivor of the family – parents, three brothers and four sisters. She married Sydney L. Smith in Newkirk, Okla., on Nov. 27, 1933. They had three daughters.

She moved to Durango with her immediate family in 1969 – she loved Colorado. She worked in retail stores (Wards and Penneys), loved to read (especially the Bible), walk, garden and grow strawberries on her own acre of land outside Durango, and later in Cortez.

After she retired in 1981, she made many beautiful quilts and continued to share her delicious grape jelly, homemade bread, hot rolls and chocolate cakes with family, friends and neighbors.

She moved to Cortez in 1988 and lived close to her daughter Nelda and husband Bruce.

She kept a spotless, lovely home, which she took care of till her death.

Neta is survived by her three daughters, Barbara (Benny) Coffey of Durango, Colo., Nelda (Bruce) Jenkins of Cortez, Colo., and Rita Lamont of Kerrville, Texas; four grandchildren, Gregory Coffey of Pagosa Springs, Colo., Travis (Amy) Coffey of San Lorenzo, N.M., Matthew Yoder of Albuquerque, N.M., and Heidi Yoder of Oakland, Calif.,; seven great-grandchildren, Hannah (Matthew) Beiler of Springville, Pa., Benjamin, Bethany, Elizabeth, Lydia, Havilah and Rebekah Coffey of San Lorenzo, N.M.; and one great-great-grandchild, Kimberly Beiler of Springville, Pa.; and several nieces and nephews, who called her often.

Her love of God, Jesus, Truth and family sustained Neta all her life.

Neta cherished her daughters, sons in-law and all her grandchildren (great- and great-great). She was always there for all of us.

She was an amazing, unique, busy person who had a “need to know” personality and deeply loved her family, life and America.

We all miss her dearly and will try to live up to her example.