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Archie M. Smith

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Archie M. Smith
Archie M. Smith

HELENA - Archie M. Smith, 98, passed away peacefully Friday, Jan. 18, 2008, surrounded by his family.

Archie was born May 8, 1909, in Espanola, Wash., the eighth of 12 children to William and Lucy (Langley) Smith. In 1915, the family moved to Montana, settling in the Spokane Creek area.

In Archie's early years, he was able to take flying lessons from Red Morrison, and a highlight in his later life was getting to take a plane ride with Red's son, Jeff over the homestead and Helena area.

Archie had an incredible work ethic. At one time he and his brother Earl had Smith Brothers Dairy, where he sometimes peddled milk around the Helena area.

In 1934, while working for the Winston Brothers Dredge near Jefferson City, Archie met the love of his life, Nola Smith, at a dance at the Vollmer Place, now the Kleffner Ranch. On Aug. 19, 1935, Archie and Nola were married in Pocatello, Idaho.

After the 1935 earthquake in Helena, Archie and Nola built their first home in York while living in a tent. While living in York and working at The Golden Messenger Mine, they were blessed with two daughters, Lorraine and Lorna. From York they moved to Corbin, where son Jim was born and Archie worked at the Mount Washington Mine in the assay office.

Archie worked in various mines around Montana and Idaho until their return to Helena, where son Jerry was born.

In 1950, Archie began working at Caird Engineering driving truck. He was very proud and quick to point out the many different structures built with the steel that he had hauled for Caird. Archie and Nola enjoyed traveling to many different places after his retirement from Caird in 1973.

Archie's legacy will live on through the many wonderful memories he shared with us. Grandpa could often be found down on the floor showing his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids how to stand on their heads.

Every year up until he was 84, Grandpa would celebrate his birthday by standing on his head. He was also a ferocious pinocle player and shared his love of games by teaching many of us how to play. Everybody always wanted to be Grandpa's partner.

Archie and Nola also shared their love of the outdoors with all of us. Family picnics at the old mines, hiking, boating and skiing were always a highlight. They could often be seen on their daily walks around Helena. Many Summer evenings they could be found at Batch Fields watching sons Jim and Jerry play softball for Coke/Bud.

Archie was preceded in death by his parents, six brothers and sisters-in-law, Harry (Mercy), Earl (Vonda), Andy (LaRue), Frank (Ruth), Floyd (Ruth), Dutch (Mary); and four sisters and brothers-in-law, Marie (Roy) Brenneman, Dorris (Bill) Matthews, Ethel (John) Burns and Gen Bowers; son-in-law Bob Hancock; mother-in-law Mary Smith; and brothers-in-law Ed Smith and Earl Smith.

He is survived by his loving and caring wife of 72 years, Nola; his brother Otto (Bud) Smith; and brother-in-law Bob Bowers; his children, Lorraine Hancock, Jim (Jean) Smith, Jerry (Carol) Smith all of Helena and Lorna Steinke of Missoula; 11 grandchildren, Mary (Rocky) Yuricic, Curt Reese, Karen (Jim) Reese-Schwenk, Mark (Jamie) Reese, Tracy (Russ) Smith, Kristi (Steve) Nickisch, Jodie (Rick) Miller, Jeff and Jay Smith, Sarah (Brent) Stanger and Casey (Duffy) Jones; 23 great-grandchildren and two more on the way; one great-great-granddaughter and one more on the way. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews of whom he thought the world.

Archie was truly a remarkable man who touched the lives of many through his laughter, sense of humor, stories and singing. "Grandpa," thank you for all the wonderful memories. We will miss you, but we will never forget your kindness, generosity and sense of adventure.

Per Archie's request there will be no services held at this time.

Cremation has taken place at Anderson Cremation Services. Local arrangements were entrusted to Hagler-Anderson Funeral Services.

Memorials can be sent to Helena Food Share, 1616 Lewis, Helena, MT, or a charity of donor's choice.

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