Myrna Loretta Smith 1928 - 2022

Myrna Loretta Smith, 94, entered into eternal rest with Jesus, her Lord and Savior, on Friday, April 29, 2022.

Myrna was born February 25, 1928, to Martha and Gifford Jorgenson in Clarkfield, Minnesota. She was educated in the Clarkfield schools, graduating from Clarkfield High School with honors in 1946. That fall she enrolled at Augustana College (now Augustana University) in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Following her graduation from Augustana in 1950 with majors in English and history, Myrna began her teaching career in Gettysburg and Watertown, South Dakota.

On June 28, 1952, she married her college “steady” Francis, and the couple moved to Dayton, Ohio, where her husband served in the Air Force. Myrna taught for two years at Fairborn (Ohio) High School. When Francis’ military obligation ended, they moved to Winchester, Massachusetts, and lived there while he completed a master’s degree program at Boston University, and she taught at Stoneham High School. With the completion of his graduate studies and acceptance of a position in upstate New York, the couple decided Myrna should take a hiatus from teaching and devote her attention to child raising. Their two children were born in Canton, New York, a small town in the St. Lawrence River Valley.

After four years, the young family returned to Sioux Falls, where Myrna taught at Washington High School. Another move took the family to Saratoga, California, where she taught at a private preschool for three years. In 1971, they moved to Salem, Oregon. Myrna taught at Salem Heights Baptist Kindergarten and later at Judson Middle School, until her retirement in 1991.

Retirement brought with it an opportunity for travel. A dream fulfilled was a two-month, 13,000 mile road trip to visit places where the couple had lived and other places they had always wanted to visit. Over the years, they also enjoyed family camping trips, trips to Disneyland and Disney World, elder hostels in various parts of the country, a three-week tour of Southern Europe, a Panama Canal cruise, a cruise/motorhome trip to Alaska, and two trips to Hawaii.

Along with traveling, Myrna was an avid reader, enjoyed trying new recipes, and taking long walks. She loved tending to the beautiful rose bushes, dahlias, and other flowers in their backyard. But Myrna’s greatest joy was spending time with her family. She took great pride in being a grandma to her two grandchildren, always eager to have them come for a visit, or attend their recitals, sporting events, school programs and plays.

Myrna was an active member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Salem for over 40 years. She sang in the church choir, taught Sunday school, and participated in numerous other church-related activities. In June of 2013, Myrna and Francis moved to Brookdale Hillside Senior Living Community in McMinnville, Oregon. 

Myrna was preceded in death by her parents; younger sister, Vivian; and infant brother. She is survived by her loving husband of 69 years, Francis Smith; daughter, Julie (Mark) Bierly; son, David Smith; granddaughter, Allison Bierly; and grandson, Tyler Bierly. She will be greatly missed by her family and always in our hearts.

Myrna’s family would like to express its deepest appreciation to the Skilled Nursing staff at Brookdale Hillside for the loving care given to Myrna over the past year and a half, and to Brighton Hospice’s support and care during her final weeks.

A graveside service was held at Belcrest Memorial Park in Salem. Donations to New Day for Children can be made in Myrna’s memory at


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