Cover photo for Dorothy Smith's Obituary
1927 Dorothy 2023

Dorothy Smith

April 15, 1927 — July 4, 2023

Our beautiful mother, Dorothy Grace Jones Smith, 96, of Taylorsville, Utah, passed away on July 4, 2023. She was born on April 15, 1927, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to the late Alice Taylor and Lawrence Ahaz Jones. Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, her infant son Aaron Benson, her husband James R Smith, her siblings: Alice Jones, John T Jones, Lawrence A Jones, Pearl Hill, and Lorna Evans Simister. She was also predeceased by many beloved in-laws, with whom she was very close and Donald Briggs, who shared his love of travel and church with her during their 11-year marriage.

She is survived by her brother Don M Jones, Colorado, and her daughters: Debra Smith (Sandy Kaszowski), Shelley Smith (Chris Tana), Vicky Clark (Craig), Jammie Smith, all of Utah, and Holly Daugherty (Bob) of Florida. She leaves 11 grandchildren and 23 great-granchildren.

Mom spoke fondly of her childhood memories of a house full of people and love. She had six siblings, and she shared a bedroom with her maternal grandmother, Emily Rosser Taylor, until she was ten. The loss of her grandmother and later, her older sister Alice, were significant losses in her childhood and she often spoke of the impact these two women had on her life. Dorothy graduated from West High School and attended the University of Utah for one year.

On July 3, 1953, she married James Ralph Smith. Together these two West High Panthers raised five East High Leopards - they loved that. And even though mom and three of her daughters went to the University of Utah, she felt compelled to cheer for BYU football.

Mom held many jobs over the years including PBX operator, receptionist/assistant in medical offices and the West Valley Library.

After she and dad retired from their "real jobs", they became movie stars by working as extras in the show "Touched by an Angel" and the movie "Independence Day". They met many celebrities such as Roma Downey, Della Reese, Randy Travis, Will Smith, Randy Quaid, and Bill Pullman, to name a few. Because dad was so tall and had a beautiful full head of silvery white hair, he was frequently near the stars of the show. If there was a "space" beside him, we knew it was our tiny mother, who wasn't quite tall enough to be seen. Mom and dad loved the staff on these movie sets, and the staff loved them right back.

Much of mom's life was defined by her volunteer work. She joined the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, and The Five or More Mother's Club, and became president of both. Her callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints included Primary President, Relief Society President, and Young Women's Counselor for her Stake, in addition to many more. She sang in the choir, helped with almost any activity, and put her heart into everything she did. She deeply touched young and old with her genuine kindness and boundless curiosity about others.

Her most amusing volunteer job was handling mail for the Donny Osmond Fan Club. She would bring home boxes of pastel-colored envelopes, many of which were perfumed and most of which started with "I've never written to a celebrity before, but...". She would mail back a pre-signed note and a photo and send it to the fan. Sometimes she would have her daughters help put postage and stamp the return address on the envelopes.

Mom was a lover of all things creative. She was an artist of many mediums, showcasing her creativity and talent. She had a passion for dance and remained physically active throughout her life. She shared this love in any way she could, including teaching tap dance lessons to her daughters and their friends in the kitchen. She loved music and played the piano and organ. She painted in oils, acrylics, watercolor, and did every craft imaginable, including stained glass. Holidays were made special with decorating sugar cookies, making hot-cross buns, gathering fall leaves for vases in the house, making peek-a-boo eggs out of sugar and too many more to list.

Mom provided a loving home for her daughters and has many "honorary daughters" including Cheryl Ferratto, Caroline Blessing, and Debbra Naegle. Their lives have been enriched by her unconditional love and unwavering support.

The family would like to send a special thanks to her granddaughters Sara and Jennifer Wilson for their extraordinary care of her over the past year, and especially her final days. They gave her tenderness and dignity until the very end.

Also, thank you to Legacy House of Taylorsville and Inspiration Hospice for your loving care of mom this past year.

Finally, we are following the great idea of our sweet aunt, Therese "Tessa" Smith Canham: instead of sending flowers or making a donation, please spend the money on something for yourself and then tell people "Hey, look what Dorothy bought me!" or take your loved ones to dinner.

There will a graveside service at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, at Valley View Memorial Park located at 4400 West 4100 South, West Valley City, Utah.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dorothy Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

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