Obituary of Myrna Lee Smith
Myrna Lee Smith of Duluth passed away on December 8 at age 87 at St. Luke’s Hospice. Myrna was born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where she met and married her high school sweetheart, Orvie Townsend. Together they raised six children. She enjoyed camping trips and road trips with her family, hauling six kids in a camper around Canada and South Dakota.
Myrna was a maker. She made every place she lived a home, made wonderful meals, baked, made and mended clothes, crocheted, did needlepoint, grew wonderful gardens, and more recently enjoyed diamond painting. Her most proud creation was her six kids. She loved her kids unconditionally and was proud of everything they accomplished, however great or humble. She cherished her years working at Glass Block downtown. She married Jim Smith in 1978, and they had a happy life together, living and working for several years in Boise, Idaho, then returning to Duluth where she became the resident manager at Chester Grove Apartments. She loved spending time at her cabin where she loved to fish and relax. She was a natural mystic, calling her kids on the phone excitedly to report loons on the lake, the full moon, and flocks of birds out her window. Myrna had a life-changing stroke 11 years ago and went on to make a comfortable apartment and have a good life in assisted living. In her last decade living at St. Ann’s, she became close friends with many residents and staff, enjoyed working in the Little Shop, playing bingo, trivia, crossword puzzles, mahjong and solitaire on her iPad and answering many questions on TV Jeopardy correctly.
Myrna was preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Artice, brother Norman, daughter Jill Townsend Swapinski, son Randy Townsend, and husband Jim.
She will be remembered lovingly by sister Jacque McCollar, daughter Deena Townsend, son Richie Townsend (Tammy), daughter Chelly Townsend (John), son Steve Townsend (Jennifer), grandchildren Angela (Derek), Douglas, Madeleine (Matt), Maggie (Alex), Alek, Sam (Mable), Spencer, Reece, great grandchildren Taylor (Derek), Kaitlyn (Luke), Josh, great great granddaughter Annie, and stepchildren Amy, Ben and Katie.