Vada Mae Smith, of Sister Lakes

Published 8:55 am Friday, March 22, 2019

March 6, 1932 – March 15, 2019

Vada Mae Smith, 87, of Sister Lakes, passed away on Friday, March 15, 2019, in Ocala, Florida.

Vada was born in Overbrook, Kansas on March 6, 1932, to Mary and Alva Miller. She was proud of her “farm girl” heritage where she learned the value of hard work and wholesome family values. 

Vada Mae Smith

Vada moved to Topeka after high school and worked as a secretary in the capitol building. It was here she met and married Larry Smith who was stationed at Forbes Air force Base. It was a blind date that turned into true love for 60 years. They made their home in Topeka for roughly two years and then moved with their daughter, Vickie, to Grand Rapids, Michigan.  There, they were blessed with another daughter, Debbe.  In two more years, the family of four moved to Sister Lakes, and over a course of nine more years, a trio of beloved sons were born: Steve, Mike and Larry. 

In Sister Lakes, The Smith House on Apple Lane was Vada’s home for almost 60 years and still remains.  She stayed at home raising the children before going to work as the library aide at Sister Lakes Elementary in 1975

After retiring, Vada and Larry spent their winters in Cedar Key, Florida at the Faraway Inn. The Smith Cabin at the top of the hill became a favorite place of happy memories with frequent visits from their kids and grandkids. Every March, excited to return home, Vada delighted in getting her flower bulbs planted and readying her many shade gardens. She took such pride in her flower gardens of tulips, hollyhocks, cone flowers, moon flowers, hostas and so many more. 

Vada is survived by her daughter, Vickie (Phil) Rose, of Ocala, Florida; her sons, Steve, of Escondido, California; Mike (Jean), of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; and Larry, of Dowagiac, grandchildren, Julie, Jeff, Sarah and LeAna; great-grandchildren, Mason, Hannah, Liam, Wyatt, Grant and Gabriella; younger brother, LaVerle Miller, of Topkea, Kansas, and many beloved Kansas nieces and nephews.

Vada was preceded in death by her husband, Larry;  a daughter, Debbe Frazier; a grandson, Mark Frazier; older sister, Dorothy Reece;  twin sister, Ada Bishop; nieces, Coleen and Connie.

Cremation has taken place and at the request of Vada, there will be no service at this time.  Interment for Vada will be in Bear Lake, Michigan with husband, Larry.  The family will gather at that time in her memory and honor.

Memorial contributions in Vada’s name can be made to Sister Lakes Elementary Library Fund, 68079 Highway 152, Benton Harbor, MI  49022.