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LILLIAN B. SMITH

July 7, 1917 - February 20, 2009

Lillian Benora Haugland Smith was born July 7, 1917 at the farm home of her parents, Ingabreth and Thea (Berg) Haugland, in Crosby, North Dakota.  She was baptized in her home by her grandmother Barbo Berg on July 7, 1917 and confirmed in her Christian faith at the Blooming Prairie Lutheran Church of Crosby North Dakota in May of 1932.

Lillian attended rural schools in Divide County, North Dakota and graduated from the Crosby High School on May 19, 1936.  During her high school years she worked as a nanny for the Rev. Martin Ranum.  The Ranum family was transferred to Osakis, Minnesota and Lillian moved with them until August, 1936 when she came to Iowa and attended the Decorah High School Normal Training for one year.  She enrolled at Luther College for a summer session and took correspondence courses from Cedar Falls.  In September of 1937 she began teaching country school at the Underbakke School, Burr Oak Number 6.  She also taught at Burr Oak Village Number 2, Bluffton, Gossman, and the Van Vliet Schools.

She married Dean E. Smith on November 25, 1943 at the home of his parents Merle and Elsie Smith.  They became the parents of one son Delbert in 1949 and in 1966 they adopted an 8 year old girl, Madonna Hangartner.

Lillian was active as a 4-H leader for 25 years and served as the parish secretary for the Burr Oak and Hesper Lutheran Churches for 32 years. In 1984 she helped organize a senior meal site at Burr Oak Lutheran which continued until 1991.  In 1974 she received the Master Farm Homemaker award and in 1985 the North East Iowa Outstanding Older Iowan.

Lillian was very active in her church and held offices in ALCW, taught Sunday School, and served as Luther League Advisor.  Dean and Lillian spent many years working with the Burr Oak Cemetery Association and served as caretakers.  They also helped with establishing the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Burr Oak and Lillian spent many years giving tours of the museum.  She was also active in the Sons of Norway and the Joan of Arc Club.

Lillian passed away Friday, February 20, 2009  at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel, Minnesota at the age of 91.

Lillian is survived by a son Delbert (Kathy) of Burr Oak; a daughter Madonna (Daryl) DeKam of Castlewood, South Dakota; ten grandchildren Angie (Chad) Erickson of Osage, Iowa, Candice (Casey) Johnson of Overland Park, Kansas, Alex (Laura) Smith of Mabel, Khrista (Murry) Linnevold of Madison, Wisconsin, Kerry Haugenoe of Milnor, North Dakota, Mindy (Nathan) Beeson of Wahpeton, North Dakota, Melissa Haugenoe of Watertown, South Dakota, and Jonas, Jerrid, and Jordan Exey of Castlewood; seven great grandchildren; one sister-in-law Charlene Knoke of Cresco, Iowa, one sister Freda Halverson of Crosby, North Dakota; and many nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her husband Dean; her parents; her brothers Jordan Haugland, Harry (Bud) Haugland; and sisters Mildred Anderson and Irene Moses.

Memorial services will be 11 AM Thursday, February 26, 2009 at the Burr Oak Lutheran Church in Burr Oak, Iowa with Rev. Matt Larson, officiating.  Burial will be in the Burr Oak Cemetery at a later date. Visitation will be from 3:30 – 6 PM Wednesday, February 25 at the Burr Oak Lutheran Church and one hour prior to services at the church.  The body was cremated and there will be no viewing. Mengis Funeral Home in Mabel is assisting with arrangements.

 

 


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