January 18, 1934 – January 16, 2021
On Saturday evening, January 16, 2021, Edith Arntsen Smith, loving wife of Richard Norris Smith and mother of four children, passed away peacefully, just two days before her 87th birthday.
Edith was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on January 18, 1934 to parents Fridtjof Arntsen and Annie Mota Arntsen. She emigrated to the United States (Dallas, Texas) in 1963, where she met and married Richard. They were happily married for 49 years. They lived most of their life together in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Growing up, her family had a home in Buenos Aires, but Edith spent much of her youth in the mountains of Cordoba, Argentina. She often spent summers in Punta del Este, Uruguay. Edith graduated from The Northlands School in Buenos Aires, and at age 18, she traveled alone by ship to Norway. She earned a degree from a finishing school in Oslo and was able to spend time with her Father’s side of the family during the two years she was there.
After graduating from finishing school, Edith returned to Buenos Aires, where she worked as a journalist, model and tour guide. Eventually Edith decided to leave Argentina and embark on a brave, solo adventure to the United States.
When she arrived in the U.S., she lived at the Y.W.C.A. in Dallas and was hired by Braniff Airlines as a reservationist. A friend invited her to a party where she met Richard. They had much in common, including that Richard had just returned from a trip to Buenos Aires. Three months later, Richard and Edith were married at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas, and she began her new life in the U.S.
For Edith, her family mattered more than anything. She also enjoyed studying nutritional health and discussing politics and world affairs. She was a citizen of both Argentina and Norway for many years, and proudly became an American citizen in 2011.
Edith loved painting, cooking, had a great sense of humor, and was a very spiritual person. Her Christian faith deepened as she got older. She loved reading, grew up multilingual and was fluent in English, Spanish and Norwegian.
Edith is preceded in death by her parents, husband, brother Henry Arntsen, and niece Denise Arntsen. She is survived by her four children: Derek Richard Smith (wife Ellen Petro Smith, daughters Zoe Smith and Mia Smith), Laura Smith Lawlor (husband Richard Lawlor, son Jack Lawlor, daughter Eva Lawlor), Maica Giselle Jordan (husband John Jordan, son Evan Jordan), and Audrey Lynette Smith Sze-To (husband Mark Sze-To). She is also survived by her younger brother Hugh Arntsen (wife Carol), her nephews Alan Arntsen, Brian Arntsen, Christian Arntsen, Martin Arntsen, and niece Karina Arntsen, and extended family in Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Norway, and the United States.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Hospice Austin. The family is eternally grateful to the staff at Southern Hospitality Home and Hospice Austin for making the final days of her life comfortable and peaceful.
- Hospice Austin