Reta Eileen Smith

Feb 27, 1925 – Nov 3, 2017

Reta Eileen Smith obituary image 1



Reta Eileen Gigg was born at Sandy Cottage, to William and Ada Gigg, in Payhembury England on February 27, 1925.  Reta's heart for people was large and she loved us all so well. She was a thoughtful, generous and compassionate woman of God who treasured her family and friends. Reta did not know a stranger and was fondly referred to as our "social butterfly."  She was a knitter for years making beautiful gifts for others, a gardener, a baker famous for her pies, a lover of nature and animals and a gifted storyteller.  

Reta, after serving in the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force, met her husband Wilbur (Bill) Smith while he was stationed with the US Army Air Force in Dunkswell England. They married on June 10, 1944.  Their first child, Glenn, was born in England in 1945. Following the end of World War II, Bill, Reta and Glenn made their home in Coquille, Oregon. Their daughter Melody and son Terry followed over the next years.  Their loving marriage lasted almost 50 years until Bill's death in 1994.  In addition to her three children, Reta also left behind two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, 5 grandchildren (one of them waiting to meet her in heaven) and 5 great grandchildren with one more on the way!  

 While in Coquille, Bill and Reta were founding members of Faith Lutheran Church.  Literally, with their own hands, they helped  the congregation to build the church.  Their move to Seattle was made in 1969 where Bill, Reta and Terry joined Prince Of Peace. Reta remained active and involved at Prince Of Peace until she died on November 3, 2017.  As you may well know, our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, cousin and friend loved her Lord with all of her heart and was most at home when she was in her church - involved in worshiping her Lord and sharing in the many activities.

 Throughout her 92 years, Reta gave generously of her self - teaching Sunday School, Jr. Missionaries, Vacation Bible School and serving her church whenever asked. She loved to tell the story of being asked to be the church treasurer in Coquille;  with a giggle, she would explain that math was her very worst subject in school.  But she never wanted to turn down an opportunity to serve in the Lord's house.  She will fondly be remembered by family and friends for her strong faith and personal unwavering relationship with her Lord. Her love for all was not passive, but alive in word and deed. She truly exemplified love in its most selfless form. 

We thank you for your gift of friendship, love and compassion that you shared with her, and now with us. We are so incredibly blessed to see how large her life was and how loved she was by all. As she was such an evangelist, she wanted to be sure we shared with all who are celebrating her life today, the reminder of the forgiveness, love, hope and joy we can experience in our lives when we surrender to  Christ Jesus.  May we all remember the beautiful light she shed on so many lives.  


(the Rev.) Richard Hetke
Napanee, ON
Nov 11, 2017

I had the wonderful opportunity to get to know Reta during my year as an intern at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in SeaTac, 1995-1996. We maintained our friendship via letter and card writing right up until this year. Reta deeply loved her family, her church and her Lord. Rest eternal grant unto her O Lord and light light perpetual shine upon her.

Marty and Dois Compton
florence, or
Nov 9, 2017

we were so sorry and shocked to hear of your mothers passing, we send prayers and love

Bob and Robyn Lefor
Surprise , AZ
Nov 9, 2017

Beautiful obituary Melody. We are so sorry for your loss. Knowing that Rita is with our Lord in heaven hopefully will comfort you. Love you Bob and Robyn

Melvin & Hilary
Dorset, England, NA
Nov 9, 2017

Will miss our dea cousin with all our heart. God bless you Reta from all here in England. Heaven is a better place with you there. All our love xx

Dianna (Cribbins) Francis
Hillsboro, OR
Nov 9, 2017

Sending prayers of comfort and love to her family and loved ones.

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