Funeral services were held Monday, Oct. 26, 2009, at First Lutheran Church in Rugby, for Loren E. Smith, 78, of Rugby, who died Wednesday, Oct. 21 at MeritCare Medical Center in Fargo.
Burial was in Persilla Watts Cemetery.
Loren was born Jan. 21, 1931, in Rolla, a son of Melford Dewain and Lillie Augusta (Carlson) Smith. He was raised in St. John until the family moved to Rolette in January of 1946. He graduated from Rolette High School in 1948. He married Esther Tastad on July 29, 1951. They moved to Rugby that year and he began working at a gas station in town. He moved on to jobs at Anderson Funeral Home and Jacobson’s Department Store before becoming the working partner at Leegard and Smith Men’s Store. He later purchased the store, owning it until 1978, and then finished out his career as a sales rep for clothing and shoe companies. After retiring, he mowed lawns for people around town, volunteered at the Heart of America Medical Center, was a groundskeeper at the Rugby Country Club, and worked at the Hillman Hub of America Complex in Rugby.
He was a member of First Lutheran Church, serving as a Sunday school teacher, council president, custodian and choir member. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, Red Cross, a school and district PTA president, and a charter member of the Heart of America Concert Series.
He is survived by his wife, Esther of Rugby; five daughters, Laurel Toyne, Rugby, Naomi Schmitz, Cashton, Wis., Cynthia Granger, St. Louis Park, Minn., Sidonia Burnell, Oshkosh, Wis., and Sonja Myhre, Fargo; one son, Tim, Russellville, Ark.; 14 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; one sister, Darlene Hagen, Mesa, Ariz.; and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by a great-granddaughter, Christine Cooper; a son-in-law, Mike Schmitz; two brothers, Neil and Doug; step-father, Seivert Solhein; and his parents.
Pastor Sharon Baker officiated. Music was provided by Steve Mueller, Sarah Johanns and Craig Wollenburg, vocalists, Tim Smith, pianist, and Diane Montonye, organist.
Casketbearers were Roger Hersey, Steve Christensen, Curt Hiller, Denny Andol, Chuck Tastad, David Armstrong, Tommy Moller and Craig Hillman.
Arrangements by Anderson Funeral Home, Rugby.