Mary Maxine Abel Smith, age 94, passed away peacefully in her daughter’s home in Gilbert, Arizona, on Thursday, February 19, 2015, of natural causes.
She was born August 4, 1920, to Lila Hilma Jensen and Harold Greville Abel in Lewiston, Utah, but was raised in Weston, Idaho. She has one sister, Christine Purvis. She and Christine were both raised by their grandmother, Anne Christine Jensen, from Denmark, after their mother died of cancer and their father died in a car accident when they were two and three years old.
She married Harley Davis Smith on December 12, 1940 in Chattanooga, Oklahoma. After marrying, they took turns living one year in Oklahoma and the next in Oregon. They also lived in Farmington, New Mexico, before settling in St. George, Utah. They had four children, three girls and one boy.
She was the St. George city recorder for 18 years. She served under four mayors and also remembers helping interview a very young Gary Esplin from BYU looking to do an externship, later becoming her boss as the city manager. She was very proud to serve the city of St. George for all those years and always wanted people to know that when she took the job as city recorder “her” city was seven square miles.
Maxine was a social butterfly and loved to spend time with friends. She joined the Dixie Sewing Club, not to sew however, just to talk! She was a member of the club since 1966. She loved those ladies dearly.
She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She held many callings and was always willing and ready to serve anyone in need.
She will be affectionately remembered by her children and grandchildren. She was always so witty and funny and loved to be silly. One of her favorite sayings was “I hope when I die, I turn into something good to eat!” She also warned all of her grandkids “don’t take any wooden nickels!”
She is survived by her children Jolene (Dan) Saline, Clinton, Utah; Sherryl Pfoutz, St. George, Utah; Steven Harley (Sandy) Smith, Clinton, Utah; Kelley (Devery) Snow, Gilbert, Arizona; 25 grandchildren; 67 great grandchildren with four on the way; one great-great grandchild; and her sister Christine Purvis of Farmington, Utah.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Harley Davis Smith; daughter in-law, Jeanne Smith; great grandchildren: Spencer Lee Bateman and Lindy Sherryl Riddle; her mother, father, grandparents, and numerous extended family members.
- Funeral services will be Saturday, Feb. 28, at 11 a.m. at the Snow Canyon LDS Ward Chapel, 1610 North Dixie Downs Road, St. George, Utah.
- Visitations will be held on Friday, Feb. 27, from 7-9 p.m. at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 W. St. George Blvd. and on Saturday, from 9-10:30 a.m. prior to services at the Chapel.
- Interment will be at the St. George City Cemetery.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, 435-673-4221. For condolences, full obituary, and funeral listings please visit the Metcalf Mortuary website.