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Jeannette Carpenter Smith, 95

| December 20, 2010 11:17 AM

Jeannette Carpenter Smith passed away Dec. 18, 2010, in blissful peace and harmony at Sullivan Park Care Center in Spokane Valley, Wash. Jeannette was born June 12, 1915, to Faye and Roy Carpenter in Coos Bay, Ore.

She was only 5 years old when her mother, Faye, died after giving birth to her only sibling, George. Jeannette lived in Spokane with their father; George lived in Hamilton, Mont., with their grandmother, Susan Carpenter.

As a teenager, Jeannette moved to Hamilton to live with George and their grandparents and graduated from Hamilton High School in 1933. Jeannette loved music and art. She always carried a sketchbook for drawing inspirational scenes. She was fascinated with the Train Stations between Washington and Montana, especially the stop in Wallace. In her early 20s, she attended art school in Portland, Ore.

Jeannette was a career government worker. She first worked in Washington, D.C., in the Office of Price Control during WWII. In 1945 she moved to San Francisco and worked in compensation and later with the Forest Service in Colville, Wash., and Missoula, Mont. She retired from the Forest Service in Missoula in 1976. She also worked in the Hat Industry in Oakland and San Mateo, Calif. She has fond memories of her time at the Willard Hotel in D.C. during the inauguration of FDR and the early Haight-Ashbury days in San Francisco where she attended the early meetings of the Science of the Mind by Earnest Holmes in the 1950s. Her whole life was a spiritual journey. She was in awe of the continuum of her life; she was privileged to witness women voting for the first time. She voted for the first African American President.

At the age of 45, Jeannette married Rev. Sydney Smith. They served in many churches throughout California and the Northwest. In the '70s, they moved to Coeur d'Alene and, after Sydney's death in 1983, Jeannette became involved in many activities. She was a faithful member of the Coeur d'Alene Women's Club, the Coeur d'Alene Art Association, Friends of The Library and The First Methodist Church.

Jeannette was a fashion icon. She will be remembered as the colorful lady who always wore a hat and drove the big white Buick LeSabre. She received her first and only speeding ticket at age 90. Jeannette had many loves and was always excited for an adventure. She loved to go for drives anywhere, hop on the bus and ride to Missoula, or sit by Lake Coeur d'Alene and sketch. Jeannette also loved to eat: especially out at a restaurant. Her kitchen was only useful for making coffee and heating up leftovers. She loved baseball, especially the Seattle Mariners. She loved to share stories of early Montana, her grandfather's mine in Thompson Falls and Lindbergh Lake. She especially loved early Spokane history and shared stories about the summer train ride from Spokane to Liberty Lake like it was yesterday. Jeannette loved her family, especially her brother, George.

Jeannette was an avid reader of spiritual books. She loved the Bible, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle and Wayne Dyer. Her daily meditation practice brought her to silence easily, concluding with her last words, "IT is all ONE." Jeannette lived each day to the fullest and every meal she ate was the best one ever. Our beautiful Jeannette is now a sister of the mystery: flying, laughing, singing. We love you.

Jeannette was preceded in death by her husband, Sydney Smith and her nephew's wife Barbara Carpenter. She is survived by her brother, George Carpenter (Evelyn); niece Carol Carpenter (Rob Golden); nephews David Carpenter (Judy), Richard Carpenter (Mary) and Paul Carpenter (Gloria). She has many great nieces and nephews and a stepson, Robert Smith of Phoenix, Ariz.

A special thanks to the great staff at Sullivan Park Care Center for the love and care they showered on Jeannette during her time there and to Marion Huff, a dear friend who was always there for her.

Viewing will be held from 9-9:45 a.m. followed by funeral service at 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010, at Yates Funeral Home, Coeur d'Alene Chapel. There will be a Celebration of Life, Jan. 22, 2011 (date dependent on availability and subject to change) at The Coeur d'Alene Resort.

In lieu of flowers please take a loved one to dinner. Savor every bite and order dessert in loving memory of Jeannette or buy a meal for a family in need. Please visit Jeannette's online memorial and sign her guest book at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com.

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