Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Marie Anderson, 53

| November 29, 2023 1:00 AM

Marie Alene Anderson (Nibert, Smith),  53, of Spokane Valley, Wash., passed away Oct. 29, 2023, due to a chronic health condition. Although her life was unexpectedly cut short, she lived a full life and left behind countless grieving family members and friends. 

Marie was born July 17, 1970, in Fairbanks, Alaska. She was the first daughter and second child in a family of six children. Marie was a loving mother, spouse, sister, friend and co-worker. She excelled at interpersonal relationships and had a magnetic personality, charm and charisma about her that drew people to her wherever she was. She never missed an opportunity to warmly greet one of her many friends, relatives or acquaintances. She had an amazing sense of humor and was always kind enough to laugh at many other's attempts to entertain her. One of her main goals in life was to always live for the moment.

Because of her father's profession, she was raised between Alaska, Utah, Tennessee and California. After graduating from Palos Verdes High School in 1988 she returned to Anchorage as an adult. Moving around was never a problem for Marie. She fit in everywhere quickly and easily became one of the top 10 in academics and social popularity wherever she found herself. Marie maintained and now leaves behind lifelong friendships in each location, which says a lot about who she was.

Marie was an avid music fan and enjoyed telling humorous stories, laughing, traveling, shopping, fashion, eating sushi, playing golf, reading autobiographies and watching true crime TV. Marie's early adult years began in the late 80s as Store Manager of Jay Jacobs in Anchorage, Alaska. She always had a keen eye for women and men's fashion along with a natural gift for sales. In her formal professional career, she excelled in administration, sales and management for GEICO, Farmers and Liberty Mutual insurance companies from the '90s to 2021. 

In her last year and a half, Marie worked and served as a Family Service Representative at Heritage Funeral Home in Spokane. She absolutely loved to comfort and help grieving family members. She spoke often about how much she loved her job and the people she worked with. She always had a warm yet professional office demeanor and was a pleasure to work with and be around.

A notable and humorous story illustrating Marie's personality was an outing she had with John Oats (of Hall & Oats rock band) in the late '80s in Anchorage. She had met him at a friend's wedding the year before in Los Angeles, so he reached out to her before a concert while he was in Anchorage. She ended up driving him around in the family's gigantic wood-paneled station wagon (with her youngest sister's car seat in the middle no less) on a personally guided tour of Anchorage. She later attended the concert where he had her brought up onstage at one point. Marie was the type of person who never missed an exciting outing or invitation to a social event. 

On Jan.  8, 1994, Marie married the love of her life, Darren Nibert, in Anchorage, Alaska. They worked, played and finally built a home together in Anchorage. Just before the time they wanted to begin their family Darren tragically passed away in a snowmobile accident in 1997. Marie was crushed. Those who knew her well could sense she was forever saddened by the passing of Darren. The next year she moved to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, where she met and married Greg Smith, whom she had known when they were younger and had always been fond of. The fruits of this marriage were their children, who continually brought Marie extreme joy, pride and laughter. They are and always will be the apples of her eye. She communicated daily with them by phone and text and always used their nicknames, "Moomoo" and "Biggie."

Marie is survived by Greg Smith (Coeur d'Alene and Boise, Idaho), their two children, Maysen "Moomoo" Marie Smith, currently attending osteopathic medical school (Ivins, Utah), and Maxwell (Max) "Biggie" Landon Smith, an Alaskan oilfield worker (Boise, Idaho). She also leaves behind her siblings, with whom she remained close: Gordon Anderson (Singapore), Jereme Anderson (Merced, Calif.), Joseph Anderson (Billings, Mont.), Jerilynn Cunnington (Post Falls, Idaho) and Susan Anderson (Redmond, Wash.). 

She is preceded in death and greeted in heaven by her parents, Larry G. Anderson (1940-2001) and Susanne B. Diggle (1941-2005), her first husband, Darren Nibert, as well as aunts, uncles and grandparents of whom she was greatly fond. Her reunion with Darren must have been awe-inspiring. Marie will also be reunited with their family dog, Scruffy, a Cairn Terrier who had been with Marie for 15 years and passed in 2020.

For those lucky enough to know Marie, it was always exciting to see her and be in her presence. She will be greatly missed and her memory forever adored.

A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Dec. 1, 2023, at Heritage Funeral & Cremation, 508 N. Government Way, Spokane, WA 99224.