Verna Irene Smith
August 25, 1925 – November 17, 2020
Verna Irene Smith passed away November 17, 2020 surrounded by her family. Verna was born August 25, 1925 to John William and Irene Sofia (Salo) Warila in Red Lodge, Montana.
She was very proud when she baptized in the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She enjoyed square dancing and was quite good at it.
Verna is preceded in death by her parents, husbands Leland Cline, Louie Burilovich, and Dean Smith and brother Edwin Warila.
She is survived by her children Donna Lee of OKC, Edwin (Linda) Burilovich of Ypsilanti, MI, Renee (William “Dub”) Lee of Ponca City, Diane Burilovich of OKC; siblings Renee (Leslie) Kercher of Billings, MT. Verna is also survived by 16 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren who kept her busy and she was so proud of them all. She also leaves behind four nieces and one nephew.
“Our Grandmother passed away last night. Ninety-five years old and ready to go. We always say, ‘What a great life at such a long life.’ She was widowed at the age of 15 with an infant child. Her entire community lost most of their males in what was the worst coal mine accident at that time. She lost her husband, two brother-in-laws and a father-in-law. So much pain for such a young person. No immediate family to fall back on. Moved to California during WWII to be a phone operator with a friend who was already there. Met our grandfather who was in the Navy and married. After the war, our grandfather was Shell Shocked known today as severe PTSD. She later married an awesome man I grew up knowing as Grandpa Dean. Her life with him was probably her best life. They had a home that was so comfortable to visit. Always open for anyone in the family. After our grandfather passed, she continued to live in the house for several years until it came time for her to have some assistance. It’s a wonderful feeling to know you have family that will give so much to be sure our grandmother never went into a nursing home. I am thankful for these girls and their children for loving her so much. Ninety-five years is a long journey with many hills and valleys. It is a part of my life where I have no grandparents left. I am the grandparent now. Love you grandma.” Thank you, Billy, for the wonderful tribute to our grandmother.
The family wants to thank all the friends and family for the love and support during this sad time. Visitation is at the funeral home on Friday, Nov. 20 from 4pm-8pm. A service to celebrate Verna’s life will follow on Saturday, Nov. 21 at 2 pm.
We will be social distancing and wearing masks to keep those in attendance safe but those who feel more comfortable staying home can watch via live stream.
- Billy Lee
- Cameron Lee
- Preston Lee
- Shawn Lee
- Tad Lee
- Jace Kelley
- Julian Kelley
- Logan Orson
- Carter Quaid
- Cole Quaid
- Garry Richardson
Friday, November 20, 2020
Celebration of Life
Saturday, November 21, 2020
Verna Irene Smith
November 21, 2020
Verna was so happy when she began to attend our congregation meetings. I remember how she would say about the next meeting, “I’ll be there!” It brought her so much pleasure to be learning the treasures we call The Truth.
You will miss her, and the void in your life will ache, but not for long. The happiness at her resurrection will be just the beginning of what is to come. Never again will old age and death stalk her or any of our loved ones. Jehovah will comfort your hearts, as will Verna’s memory.
Condolences and love to you all,