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Alma completed her earthly spiritual journey and began her final journey to our Lord on January 21,2024. She started her life on a lovely fall day in 1923 in a log house in rural Bluffton township, Minnesota. Alma was a child of the depression, but if you were to ask her, she would say that she did not feel at all disadvantaged as she was surrounded by a loving family, her parents, William and Katherine, four brothers and a sister.
Growing up on a farm gave Alma opportunities to learn about growing vegetable and flower gardens, as well as tending to the animals and fowl that inhabited her world. Her passion was growing flowers and grew vegetables because she liked eating good, healthy food. She spent many days in the fall canning and freezing vegetables and fruit. Alma was a first-rate cook.
Alma’s first employment opportunity was at the Vorgert Creamery in Bluffton, where she was a mother’s helper, as well as the bookkeeper for the Creamery until she married Gordon Smith on January 27, 1947, at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Bluffton, Minnesota. They set up home in an apartment on East Mount Faith in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and were joined by two young daughters and a few years later an adopted daughter. Her journey with Gordon took her to a farm near Henning, Minnesota where the family grew by two boys and to Western Washington, eventually residing in Olympia, with her two teenage daughters and two young sons and Gordon too. She continued her love of growing things with lovely flowers and yummy vegetables. She enjoyed her life caring for her family, as well as participating in their activities, becoming a Cub Scout den mother, member of PTA and chauffeuring two teenage daughters about. Alma spent many vacations with her family, enjoying time spent with them.
Her journey with Gordon and the boys continued with a move to a dairy farm in Elmo Township, Minnesota. After retiring from farming, she and Gordon spent a winter in the southwest, visiting daughter, Phyllis, and rock hounding. Upon returning to the farm, she and Gordon continued their “farming career” by growing large vegetable and flower gardens, as well as raising Chesapeake Bay retrievers
Alma was an accomplished seamstress, sewing many outfits for her family, and even learning to upholster furniture, which came in quite handy when the family furniture needed care from four active children (especially the boys). She loved to knit and crochet, making beautiful things which she shared with family and friends. She was a whiz at crossword puzzles and Scrabble, attributable to being an avid reader. Being read to by mom was a special treat for her children.
Alma was a life-long Catholic and devotedly ensured that these values were instilled in her children. Wherever she lived, the first things to be done after unpacking, were finding the Catholic Church and the library. As a member of St. Edward’s Catholic Church, she was a confirmation class teacher, a member of the Parish Council of Catholic Women and Christian Mothers for whom she was the Sunshine Committee chair sending numerous get-well, birthday and sympathy cards. She was a member of Prayer Shawl ministry. For many years she used her gift for flower arranging by making and taking altar bouquets to Sunday Mass.
Alma was preceded in death by her husband, Gordon; daughter Sandra Eileen (Sandy) parents, William and Katherine (Katy Rohr) Haman); brothers Charles, William (Bill), Herman, Edward and sister, Ann St. Clair. She is survived by children, Rebecca, Phyllis, Mickael (Basilia Brownell) and Steven; granddaughter Danielle Mauricia Smith and numerous nieces and nephews.