Anita Erlene Smith passed away peacefully in her home in Olympia, Washington on April 6, 2013.
She was born March 12, 1933, in Aberdeen, Washington to the late Earl S. Coleman and Rhoda Coleman and spent her early years attending public schools in Hoquiam, Washington. She graduated from Hoquiam High School in 1951 after being involved in many activities, including drum majorette for the Hoquiam High Marching Band all four years. After high school, Anita attended Washington State University where she was a drum majorette of the Cougar Marching Band and a member of the Sigma Kappa sorority.
In 1952, Anita began work as a medical stenographer at the former Children’s Orthopedic Hospital in Seattle. After a tryout, she was chosen as drum majorette for the Seattle Elks Band and performed in parades, at military bases and many civic events. While visiting friends at Fort Lewis, she met her future husband, Lt. Alan E. Smith, on a blind date. They were married in Santa Cruz, California on April 10, 1954, and celebrated their forty-seventh anniversary before her husband’s passing in 2000. Their early years of marriage were spent in Santa Cruz before moving to Hoquiam while Alan attended Grays Harbor College. They moved to Seattle where Alan earned a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Washington and was employed at a Seattle drug store. The opportunity to purchase Crown Drug in Hoquiam brought them back to the Harbor in 1969. In later years, they purchased Harbor Drug and operated it together for many years. It was a landmark business in Hoquiam and remains in the family today, now owned and operated by their oldest son, Dave.
Alan and Anita were avid sports fans, supporting and following the efforts of all three sons from little league up through high school and beyond, rarely missing a game. One of her greatest thrills was watching son Rob play in the 1978 Rose Bowl for the Washington Huskies. A Cougar in a house full of Huskies was often difficult, but with her sense of humor and love of family she easily held her own.
Other special times were spent at the family cabin at Mason Lake with family and friends, as well as numerous trips in their motor home with Alan. She loved those trips and would often tell how, with no real destination in mind, and with Alan behind the wheel, they would reach Emerson Avenue and Alan would turn to her and say, “Well, right or left?” Anita was also very interested in World War II history and had an extensive collection of books, videos, and DVDs from that period of time.
In recent years, Anita has been a resident of Olympia. Her youngest son, Don is an Olympia firefighter and Anita often expressed her gratitude to the Olympia Fire Department for the caring and professional help of the firemen and paramedics who answered her calls when she needed assistance.
Anita was preceded in death by her parents, Earl and Rhoda Coleman; and her loving husband, Alan. They are together once again. Survivors include sons, Dave and wife, Marcia of Hoquiam, Rob and wife, Wendy of McKinleyville, California, Don and wife, Jacque of Lacey and a sister, Marilyn Hillier and husband, Ralph of Beaverton, Oregon. She was a cherished grandmother to Kyle Smith, Mackenzie Smith, Madison Smith, Cole Smith, Alison Smith, Jared Smith, Ashley Smith Galvin and husband Justin; a great-grandmother to Taylor Jean Galvin and Tiffany Elizabeth Galvin and an aunt to numerous nieces and nephews.
She will be buried next to her late husband at Sunset Memorial Park in Hoquiam at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, 2013.
Remembrances can be made to the Mike Catron Memorial Scholarship Fund at Hoquiam High School, 501 W. Emerson, Hoquiam, WA 98550, or to the Olympia Fire Department.
Direction is by the Coleman Mortuary, 422 – 5th Street in Hoquiam.
Please take a few moments to record your thoughts for the family by signing the on-line register at www.colemanmortuary.net.