June 2, 1926 – July 10, 2016
Lyla May Smith, long-time resident of Chadron, Neb. passed away of natural causes on July 10, 2016, in Alliance, Neb. She was born on June 2, 1926, in Hay Springs, Neb. to Clarence and Velma May (Meyers) Olson.
Lyla May and her two sisters, Imo Gene and Dorothy Lee spent their early years helping their parents farm near Hay Springs, Neb. Her love for horses began early when she rode the family horse named “Pet” bareback, using braided twine for reins. Through her best friend, Reta (Blundell), she met her husband, Aldrich “Bub” Smith. Their forty-plus years of marriage were spent raising their children, farming and ranching on Deadhorse Creek and later south of Chadron. Lyla May’s work ethic was instilled deeply in her by her parents and carried into her adult life. She worked tirelessly as both a farm wife and homemaker and loved gardening, sewing and reading. Being a good neighbor and friend was also an important part of Lyla May’s life and was evidenced by her involvement in her children’s 4-H activities and participation in the farming community events and celebrations. She deeply loved her nine grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren and never missed a chance to share the latest picture of them or anecdote about them.
Lyla May was predeceased by her parents, her former husband Aldrich C. Smith, and her sister Dorothy Lee (Robert) Rutten. She is survived by her sister, Imo Gene (Lyle) Hitchcock of Aurora, Colo.; her four children: Douglas Smith of Chadron; Dean Smith of Evans, Wash.; Barbara Jean Lehman (Jim) of Fort Pierre, S.D.; and Donald Smith of Fort Pierre, S.D. Lyla May had nine grandchildren: Jay Suchor (Missie) of Gillette, Wyo.; Desiree’ Coppock (Michael) of Monument, Colo.; Danielle Clevenger of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Sam, Rachel and Nicholas Smith of Chadron; Mindy Lehman of Bremerton, WA; Casey (Angela) Lehman of Westfield, IN; and Rebecca (Justin) Shuh of Gillette, WY. She is also survived by eleven great-grandchildren: Peytonn, Dalton and ShaeLynn Suchor of Gillette, Wyo.; Alyssa (Erin) Ruybal, Cameryn Clevenger, Alexia, Karis, and Kaitlyn Coppock of Colorado; Sydney Lehman of Indiana; and Gabriel Hammer and Taigan Lehman of Washington. Other survivors include multiple nieces, nephews, in-laws and cousins that were a vital part of her life.
Memorial services will be held on Monday, July 18 at 11 a.m. at Chamberlain Chapel, 1700 Highway 20, Chadron, Neb. 69337. The family will have a private time of remembrance when her remains will be scattered as she wished.