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Rebecca O. Smith, 91

Aug 30, 2010

Rebecca Smith

Tucson, Ariz. — Rebecca Onstad Smith, age 91, of Tucson, Ariz., passed away peacefully at the age of 91 on Aug. 13, 2010.

She was born Jan. 8, 1919 to Paul and Alta Onstad, in Crookston. She grew up with three sisters and a brother, in Grand Forks, N.D., and attended the University of North Dakota where she met her future husband. She was an active member of the Phi Beta Phi sorority. In her youth she developed a life-long love of the piano and excelled as an accompanist. She married Don V. Smith on June 16, 1943. After Don completed his military service and surgical residency in 1950, they moved to Blue Earth where Don began medical practice.

Don and Rebecca raised five children and were active in the Blue Earth Presbyterian Church. As the children matured, Rebecca returned to college where she completed her graduate degree in English and theater. She traveled to Europe and Israel, took an interest in drama, and taught English and drama in Elmore and Frost.

In 1972, she and Don moved to Ganado, Ariz., where she taught English literature at the Ganado Community College where Don practiced with Project Hope. In 1974, they moved to Phoenix where Rebecca did prison ministry, which she continued for many years. Don and Rebecca built a home on Gull Lake in 1981. There she assisted Don in his medical practice at Nisswa. They were active in the Brainerd Presbyterian Church, and hosted many gatherings with family and friends at their lake home. Rebecca enjoyed long walks, rowing, swimming, and ice skating. She was known for her delicious pumpkin pies and cinnamon rolls. In 2000, she and Don retired to Tucson, Ariz., to be near her daughters and her sister, Carolyn Bennett.

Rebecca was known for her grace, beauty, generous heart, and unconditional love for others. Her Christian faith was part of the fabric of her being. She was always at peace with the Lord, even as her health declined.

Her husband of 66 years, Don, and her son, Dean, preceded her in death.

She is survived by her sister, Carolyn Bennett, of Tucson; son, Dr. Stephen Smith (Carla Granat), of Seattle, Wash.; daughters, Christine Austin, of Tucson, Dr. Linda Turner (Justin), of Tucson, and Deborah Haynes, of Santa Fe, N.M.; 11 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank TMC Hospice and the staff of Catalina Foothills Adult Care Home for the devoted and loving care that was provided.

A Memorial Service is planned at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church of Tucson on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010, at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

Arrangements entrusted to Adair Funeral Home, Avalon Chapel.