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Lydia Loy Smith
January 26, 1941 ~ November 2, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old
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Lydia Loy Smith, 82, died November 2, 2023 in Gig Harbor, Washington. She was born on a snowy January 26, 1941, in her grandmother’s house near Akron, Ohio to Bernard and Myrl Ballard. In early 1942, she took the train with her mother, brother, and aunt to Southern California to join her father who had recently graduated from trade school and had secured employment as a tool and die maker in the aerospace industry.
She grew up in Lenox, a suburb of Los Angeles, when the area was still somewhat rural. Her family did not own a car, so they traveled by foot and trolley, and she took riding lessons at a nearby corral. She grew up camping and swimming. She graduated from Inglewood High School class of 1958. Shy by nature, she was beautiful and fashion forward. In the 1960’s and 70’s, she was a “Meter Maid” for the City of Inglewood, driving a buggy and writing parking tickets. Her boss, Captain Jack Smith, later became her husband. On Jack’s retirement from the Inglewood Police Department in 1973, they moved to Post Falls, Idaho, when the population was just under 1,300. Lydia then held a variety of secretarial positions with Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, Jacklin Seed Company, and with her church home, Christ the King Lutheran Church.
Jack and Lydia loved boating on Lake Coeur d’Alene, scouring the countryside for antiques, and eating a good hamburger. They thoroughly enjoyed their two Alaska cruises. For over 40 years, their house always had at least one rescue dog and for several years, many rescue cats even though Lydia was allergic to them. Their hearts were always full of love for their animals. Lydia had an artistic flair and she began quilting in the 1980’s. She created beautiful quilts for her grandchildren and many great nieces and nephews. She never tired of looking through quilting magazines, going to quilting shows and shopping for fabric. She belonged to several quilting groups and even took quilting themed cruises to the Caribbean. She also loved gardening and enjoying a glass of iced tea on her deck. She was a great Mom.
After Jack’s death in 2012, Lydia began her battle with dementia. When she was no longer able to keep her beloved home, she moved into the Garden Plaza in Post Falls, and later, as her health and communication abilities declined, she moved to The Lodge at Mallard’s Landing in Gig Harbor where she was able to be near her son who looked after her affairs and her brother who spent summers nearby. To the end, she would spend time sitting and touching and looking at special fabrics she brought with her and enjoyed looking through picture albums of family and friends put together for her by her daughter.
Lydia was preceded in death by her husband, Jack Smith, her parents, Bernard (Jesse) and Myrl Ballard, and her brother, Randall Ballard. She is survived by her son, Jeff Schneider of Tacoma, her daughter, Joni (Andrew) Libertin of North Canton, Ohio, and her brother Roger (Coral) Ballard, of Agoura Hills, California. She also leaves behind her grandchildren Maggie (William) Ayrea, Alexandria, Virginia, Aaron Morrow, Louisville, Ohio, Madeline (Nico) Perrino, Alexandria, Virginia, Theo Morrow, Washington, DC, Jordan Schneider, Seattle, and Ryan Schneider, Portland, three great grandchildren with a fourth great grandchild due to arrive for the New Year and three nieces and their families. Lydia will be privately interned with her husband Jack, near her parents at Riverview Cemetery in Coeur d’Alene. Donations can be made in her memory to Companions Animal Center (P.O. Box 1005, Hayden, ID, 83835 or 208-772-4019). Box 1005, Hayden, Idaho 83835
Lydia is surely now in Heaven with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; her mind is clear and her ability to speak has been restored. She and Jack are likely sitting together, with their dogs Ollie, Lady and Katie happily curled up at their feet.