Laura E. (James) Smith was born in Boissevain, Manitoba, Canada, on January 17, 1922. Her family returned to the Anita, Iowa, area in 1924. At that time, 1924, her mother Katherine (Ross) James died and her father Charles James died in 1934. The family moved to Adair in the care of Laura’s older sister, Anita.
Laura was welcomed into the home of foster parents, John and Ethel Farley, at the age of six years old. Laura graduated from Adair High in 1939. (Attended 75th class reunion in 2014)
Following graduation, Laura worked as a clerk at the State House in Des Moines, and at the end of the session, went to work for the State Bureau of Investigation.
Laura married Wayne Smith, (her high school sweetheart) on November 19, 1944, in the Farley home. She continued working until Wayne’s discharge from the service in 1946, when they started farming east of Adair. In 1949 they moved to Guthrie County and continued to farm.
Then in 1952, they moved to the Hal Noland farm south of Adair. After losing two premature babies in 1947, and foster parents, they adopted six month old daughter Gail in 1953 and son John, six months old in 1955.
In 1964 the family retired from farming and moved to Adair, back to the Farley home. Laura worked as a waitress at the Adair Bowl Restaurant from when the business opened to when it closed its doors working under six different managers. Later, she worked at the Akers Back 40 uptown Adair.
Laura enjoyed gardening, yard work, painting scenery, sewing, making Care Bears, including seven pastor bears for the ministers, afghans, and braided rugs. Laura bowled on a league for 50 plus years, golfed for many years, and enjoyed traveling and camping throughout the United States and Canada.
Laura was a lifetime member of the Adair Methodist Church, (painted names on eleven stained glass windows), American Legend Auxiliary and civic league.
After her husband Wayne’s passing in 2001, she continued living in her home until she moved to Heritage House in December 2015.
Laura is survived by her daughter, Gail Lohoff (Mike Doyle) and son, John Smith, both of Atlantic; 5 grandchildren, Jason (Amy) Lohoff, Tara (Peterson) Wheeler (Colby), Adam Lohoff (Andrea), Jeremiah Smith (Sarah), Angelic (Angie) Kelly (Michael); 22 great-grandchildren; 8 great-great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Ronald Smith (Alice); nieces, nephews and special friends.
Preceding Laura in death were her husband, Wayne; parents; foster parents; children, Russell James Smith and Darlene Kay Smith both in infancy; sisters, Anita Moore and Ruth in infancy; brothers, Lafe, Raymond and Frank James; half-sisters, Mamie and Evelyn Campbell; half-brothers, Williard and Louis Campbell; daughter-in-law, Arletta (Lynn) Smith; great-grandson, Kooper Lohoff; and many special friends.
Open visitation will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at Hockenberry Funeral Home in Adair, Iowa.
A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, March 12, 2020, at the United Methodist Church in Adair, Iowa, with burial in the Sunnyhill Cemetery.
Hockenberry Family Care Funeral Home in Adair, Iowa, is in charge of the arrangements.