May 20, 2014
Juanita Smith, Issaquah, passed away peacefully on Mother’s Day, May 11, 2014.
She was born in Lebam on Feb. 23, 1913, to Claude and Effie Warren. Her family moved to Centralia in 1919. After graduation from Centralia High School, she attended the University of Washington, where she obtained a degree in education.
While attending the university, she met her husband, Gordon H. Smith, whom she married in 1936. They lived in Seattle until 1944, when they returned to Centralia.
After the birth of their three children, Juanita began a 24-year career teaching kindergarten. Her belief in early childhood education led her to first open a private kindergarten in her home at a time when kindergarten was not offered in the local public schools. When kindergarten was reinstated into the curriculum, she was then hired by the Centralia School District, and retired in 1978.
After Gordon passed away in 1979, she moved to Issaquah to be closer to her family. Juanita remained very active during her retirement years. She was a member of Issaquah Senior Center and a local chapter of PEO.
However, her winters were spent in Cathedral City, where she volunteered in a local elementary school, tutoring bilingual children, became a key member of University Baptist Church in Palm Desert, and at Eisenhower Memorial Hospital, where she was recognized for more than 5,000 hours of service during her years on the desert.
Juanita is survived by her three children, Pam Brown (Charlie), of Issaquah, Stu (Sandy), of Port Angeles, and Kevin (Teri), of Puyallup; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
A memorial service in her honor will be held at University House, 22975 S.E. Black Nugget Road, Issaquah, WA 98029, at 11 a.m. June 7.
In lieu of flowers, and according to her wishes, remembrances can be made to University Baptist Church, 72700 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92260, or PEO, Chapter HE, 560 Mt. Logan Drive S.W., Issaquah, WA 98027.