Lois Lourine Mallette Smith, 76, devoted wife and mother, died peacefully, surrounded by family, on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, in Meridian.
She had suffered from Lewy Body Disease, a form of Parkinsonıs, for many years. A rosary will be held at 7 p.m., on Tuesday, Dec. 13, at Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel in Mountain Home. A viewing will follow the rosary until 9 p.m.
A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m., on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Mountain View Cemetery in Mountain Home.
The youngest of five children, Lois was born March 6, 1935, in Pritchard, Ala., to Albert Cornelius Mallette and Lourine Jackson McMillan Mallette.
At 13, she badly injured her hip falling off her bike, and was increasingly crippled the rest of her life. After graduating in 1953 from Vigor High School, Lois worked as a waitress and bookkeeper in a Pensacola, Fla., restaurant.
At the restaurant, she met the love of her life, the handsome and dashing young aviation cadet from Idaho, Richard H. Smith, attending flight school at Pensacola Naval Air Station. Married on Thanksgiving Day, 1956, in Houston, Texas, they recently celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary.
After finishing his enlistment in the Navy, Dick and Lois headed back West. They lived in Oregon, New Mexico, Montana, Idaho and Arizona, where Dick worked on the railroad as a fireman; doing construction and welding; building the missile base in Mountain Home, and serving as a maintenance supervisor for a copper mine.
Lois and Dick always had fun wherever they lived, hosting card games, water skiing and boating, and helping start a western horseback riding club in Arizona. Because Lois could not water ski with her hip problems, she usually drove the ski boat. Since she could not ride horses, Dick built her a beautiful sky blue sulky to ride behind a pony. She was an avid reader of all genres, and loved all board games and dominoes. She was a card shark, especially in pinochle, in which she continued to excel until just a few months ago. All of her children learned to play cards at an early age to ensure she always had a partner.
A little over 40 years ago, Dick and Lois returned to Mountain Home to live near family and work on several business ventures. Lois was beside her husband every step of the way, supporting him in logging trees and establishing a sawmill, driving a grain combine and truck in the fields, and helping however she could.
An educator at heart, for several years she was a substitute teacher at the junior high and high school. Stalwart in her Catholic faith, Lois was a catechism teacher and RCIA sponsor for many years.
Lois and Dick remained in Mountain Home until this past April, when they moved to Boise to be closer to family.
One of the great sorrows of Lois and Dickıs lives was the death of their first-born son, Richard Henry Smith Jr., after only a few days of life.
They welcomed four other children over the next 17 years: Monica Smith Jaszkowski (husband Mark) of Boise; LeTicia Smith Hallstead (husband Mark) of Meridian; Justin Cole Smith of Redmond, Wash., and Jason Eric Smith (wife Brooke) of Meridian.
Lois was a very engaged and involved parent for each of her children, serving as a room mother, phonics and reading coach, homework czar, scout volunteer and attending every one of her boysı football games and wrestling matches. She was proud all of her children are college graduates. Lois has seven grandchildren: Amanda Jaszkowski LaMott (husband Nicholas) of Meridian; Sara Jaszkowski of Chicago, Ill.; Sawyer Smith of Evansville, Ill.; Kaitlin Smith of Cheney, Wash.; Carly Hallstead Conway (husband Kirk) of Prince Frederick, Md.; Daniel Hallstead of Washington, D.C.; and Austin Smith of Meridian. Another grandson is due in April.
In addition to her beloved husband, children and grandchildren, Lois is survived by her brothers, Neil Mallette of Houston, Texas, and Samuel Mallette of Chickasaw, Ala., and several dear nieces and nephews.