Vera Marie Smith Latham Age 104 was born, in Owensdale, Michigan, to Lewis Alvin Smith and Edna Mae Yingling Smith. To their union were born five children, Layard, Paul, Velma, Vera and infant baby Arthur who lived only a few hours. Mother and Father Smith were joined in Marriage by Joseph Smith 111. May 29th 1907. The family gathered to Independence Mo. when Vera was just an infant
Her father built the family home and attached Grocery Store at 701 N. River Blvd., in Independence Mo. where the family resided.
At a very young age Vera was placed in a cardboard box, while her mother worked in the Grocery Store, sometimes going into the home, Vera would call out to her mother when a customer would arrive. Those were the days of happy childhood memories, selling penny candy, loving to sample the chocolate that she so loved! Riding on the back of the delivery truck to bring groceries, to their loyal customers, chasing the ice truck to taste the ice chips left behind, Vera was always a very happy child.
She attended Bryant School, just across the street from her home. Going on to high school Vera graduated from William Chrisman High in 1933, attending her High School Reunions until there were only seven remaining members of the 75th class of 1933. Vera graduated Cosmetology and Hairdressing in 1943.
The Smith family then moved to Santa Monica, California, leaving her sister Velma and her five children behind to live in the family home in Independence. Vera had her own beauty shop as a hairdresser and manicurist. Becoming quit accomplished, she found herself styling many of the Hollywood Stars, in her work.
Vera met her husband Jack in Burlingame, California. They were married on September 4th 1949. Upon Marriage to Jack, Vera embraced his family and two children Keith and Lynn. Many grandchildren, nieces and nephews respected and loved Vera for her generous and loving ways. Every year Vera never forgot, her sister, Velma’s family. They always, looked forward to her visits to Independence. Her family always knew they were loved.
Retiring her beauty shop and hair dressing, leaving far behind, they moved to Phoenix Arizona in 1965, where they also purchased a mountain home in Flagstaff. They were both members of the Phoenix Central RLDS Church. Vera sang and directed the choir of the Phoenix congregation, singing soprano with her beautiful voice.
They were both heavily involved with a homeless Girls Ranch, providing church retreats, at their Mountain Home. Vera’s husband worked for the Carr Paper Co. as an
accountant. Later owning a Franchise of Taco Bell, then he went into a business venture of Hydoculture and Hydroponics, of vegetables and tomatoes, taking the couple to Lebanon for almost a year.
The Happy couple traveled all over the United States, Turkey, Egypt, China, Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska. After 54 years of marriage Vera’s beloved Jack went home at the age of 93.
Vera was accomplished in knitting beautiful dresses, sweaters and blanket throws. She began painting in oils and many of her paintings graced the walls of her home. One of her most favorite pictures was a turquoise oil painting of six pears. She won first place for best oils in an art contest. The painting became known as “Three Pair.”
Vera felt it was time to come back to Missouri and the land of Zion, to the home place of her childhood. Her final years were spent living and loving her family and worshipping with the saints.
Lots of good times and some bad, but she always said she didn’t have time to be unhappy! She lived a full life! And was loved by both of her families and friends and for her Loving Kindness and Wit!
Vera is survived by a Jack’s brother Don Latham, Step daughter Lynn Powers Stepson Keith and Wife Judy Latham, Niece, Drudy and Husband Gray Clark.
Many Grandchildren and close friends and Church Family of Phoenix Central RLDS Church.
Vera is also survived by Niece Eleanor Miller, Nephew, William and Wife Genelle Moore, Nephew Robert and Wife June Moore. Nephew Ronald and Wife Linda Moore,. Many Great Nieces and Nephews and Family and Friends of the Buckner Restoration Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ.
And now we say Goodbye and know you are safe in your Master’s arms.
Goodbye until we meet again!
With Love from Your Loving Family and Friends.