Alberta Ann Smiley - Harris
October 13, 1937 – January 19, 2020
Alberta Ann, named for her maternal grandparents Albert and Anna, was born October 13, 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska. She died peacefully Sunday, January 19, 2020. Supported by her family, her faith and the doctors and staff at SCCA, Ann twice survived acute leukemia (AML) and in 2002 received a stem cell transplant due to the generosity of a stranger. Ann grew up in Omaha, Scottsbluff, Fremont, Lincoln and North Platte, Nebraska and Sikeston, Missouri. After graduating from North Platte High School in 1955, Ann moved to Seattle and began work at the telephone company. In 1957 Ann was selected to participate in the Miss Washington Pageant at the Aqua Theatre at Green Lake. She believed in education, especially for her girls. She achieved her own degree after her leukemia. Ann went to work at Blue Cross in 1973 where her work ethic and intelligence saw her rise quickly from an entry level position to Agency Manager of Washington Alaska Group Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Cross, affiliated with American Bankers Life. Mama was a voracious reader and an avid gardener. Despite her Midwest roots she loved the Northwest and the water. She found our family cabin on Hood Canal and she swam, clammed and cooked countless pounds of bacon for the many guests and family who came to stay. She was determined to be a boater and bought a 1968 wooden hull boat, the Griffin, and we all ended up in boating classes. Mother's true hobby was her family but she threw us into many activities: skiing, tennis, horseback riding, camping and always with the right outfit. Like her father, Mama loved animals and we took in many dogs, rabbits, ducks, and parakeets. Mama had an enviable aesthetic and a keen eye for a bargain. Her home was elegant and comfortable. The bottom drawer in her kitchen was for her grandchildren and filled with toys and treasures. Mama loved her Lord, was a student of the Bible and a prayer warrior. But she wasn't sanctimonious. She was very real. She had loved and been loved and suffered and survived. She demanded and received from her children obedience and chores and she rewarded us with unwavering love, support and pride. She said we were her finest work. Although the hole she left in our lives can never be filled, she has earned this heavenly rest.
Ann was predeceased by her beloved husband Gary Ruel Harris, her parents Forest and Vivian, her brother Forrest, and her sister Mary Louise. She leaves 6 children from her large blended family: Laurie, Michael, Susan, Samantha, Saxon and Lorinda; 4 granddaughters: MacKenzie, Maddeline, McKay Ann and Rossi; 5 grandsons: Christen, Jack, Griffin, Nathan and Dashiell; and 2 great grandsons: Hoss and Judah. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Beate; her nephews: Jason, Jacob, Matthew, John, and nieces: Debbie and Melissa; her cousins: Valerie, Denise, Marilynn, Elaine and Kristi, and her many dear friends.
Memorial Services for Ann will be held Monday, January 27 at 11:00 am at Vineyard Park in Mountlake Terrace, and a Graveside Service at 2:00 at Acacia Memorial Park on Bothell Way followed by a celebration of her life at the Seattle Tennis Club.