Louise P. Smith, 93, Brainerd, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009, at her home. She was born March 23, 1916, to John and Mary Putzker on the family homestead in the Trail Creek area of Park County, Mont., north of Yellowstone Park. She was the fourth of five children.
Her mother passed away in the 1918 flu epidemic, leaving her father to care for five small children and wrest a living from the previously unsettled land. He was successful with the help of his brother, Martin. He subsequently sold the homestead and bought a ranch on the banks of the Yellowstone River in aptly named Paradise Valley. Louise had fond memories of frugal but happy times and the abiding love of her papa.
In her teens Louise was employed during the summers running the kitchen and providing all of the food, round the clock, for the crew who developed and printed film and lived in the Haynes Photography Studio's dormitory in Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Park. It was there that she met her future husband, Ward Smith, who was one of the crew. They were married on May 7, 1935.
Ward began a career for the Northern Pacific Railroad, which took the couple to Missoula, Mont., where their daughters Adena and Nikki were born. In 1949, the family moved back to Livingston, Mont., and finally to Brainerd in 1955. Louise and Ward returned to visit family every summer; Montana was always close to her heart.
Louise was a member of First Congregational Church, Eastern Star, Homemakers and numerous other organizations. She loved to dance and play cards. She was a master homemaker and a great cook. The cookie jar was always full and all who came to her door felt welcome and at home.
She is survived by her daughters, Adena Cook (Jeffrey), Idaho Falls, Idaho, Nikki Langworthy (Harold), Rochester, N.Y.; sisters, Mary Ashley (Frank) and Helen Cosick (Elmer), Livingston, Mont.; five grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Mary Putzker; her husband, Ward; and brothers, John and George.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009, at 10 a.m. at Woodland Good Samaritan Village Chapel in Brainerd with Pastor Deborah Celley of First Congregational Church officiating. Memorial gifts in Louise's memory may be given to First Congregational Church or Woodland Good Samaritan Village.
Arrangements are with Halvorson-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Brainerd.
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