Bertha Helen (Een) Smith, 96, entered into heaven Dec. 3, 2018, passing in Spokane, Wash. She was delivered by her father at the family farm in Black Coulee, Mont., (near Rudyard) July 15, 1922, and had eight siblings.
Known as “Toots” by her family and friends, she was quite the tomboy growing up, and always loved horses and yard work. Her early education was at the Een school, built by her father, then she moved into town and graduated from Rudyard High School in 1940.
Shortly after graduation Bertha took a job at a boarding house for the Jack Waite mine near Murray, Idaho. The night before leaving Rudyard, she danced the night away, missed her passenger train heading west and had to take the milk train, arriving in Spokane a day late and covered in coal dust. She was greeted by her new employers (and future in-laws) Ernest and Minnie Smith. On Nov. 19, 1941, she married Everett “Bud” Smith. Three weeks later was Pearl Harbor and they were off to Army life for a few years. They had a very loving marriage until Bud’s passing in 1997. They did not have children of their own for 17 years, but in the meantime lovingly nurtured the children of Louie and Ione Case and Jo and Tom Bailey.
In 1958, they were blessed with their first son, Kelly, and three years later with twins Kerby and Jeneen. Bertha was the greatest, most supportive mother. She was a beautiful, sweet, stubborn-proud Norwegian, who loved her family and friends. She was an excellent baker, and was known around the area for her rolls and cookies. Bertha worked in logging camps and mining boarding houses, and at Hilton’s Grocery. She lived in Superior, Mont., for more than 70 years and got her hair fixed every Friday so she was ready for fun (thank you confidante Cheryl Crabb).
Bertha is survived by her children, Kelly and Diana Smith, Kerby and Barb Smith, Jeneen and Craig Hanson; grandchildren, Kellie Petersen, Jessi Raine, Roberta Tebussek, Kevin Smith, Kami Smith, Matt, Clete and Zac Hanson; 11 great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews, including special niece Jen Artley; and her “first daughters” Diana (Case) Lindback and Susie (Bailey) Moss, and many friends.
She is preceded in death by her adoring husband, Bud; parents, Alfred and Jennie (Warness) Een; all eight siblings: Arthur Een, Clarence Een, Perry Een, Frances Kinder, Ellen Cremer, Bernice Kittelson, Robert Een and Inez Brown, and several nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, April 6, 2019, at the Superior High School Multipurpose Room at 2 p.m. This announcement will be repeated at a closer date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bertha’s name to the Superior Lutheran Church or St. Jude Children’s Hospital.