Guen Lyman Smith, 81, returned home with honor on February 22, 2009 at the Four Corners Regional Care Center in Blanding, UT.
Funeral Services were held on February 26, 2009 at the North Chapel in Blanding. She was laid to rest at the Blanding City Cemetery.
Guen was born in Blanding on April 3, 1927 to Albert Robison Lyman and Mary Ellen Perkins (the first settlers in Blanding).
She was the 15th child and her mother, Lell, who always wanted twins, cried when she wasn’t a twin.
Albert wanted to name her Quince, which means 15 in Spanish, but Lell wanted to name her Guen with a “u” like the Welch, rather than with the more common “w.”
Lell won, but to the family and some of her friends she was always know as Quince. Two brothers died before she was born: Mead and Dane. Mead was a baby when he died and the first to be buried among the sagebrush and cedars in what is now the Blanding City Cemetery.
Lell became ill and the family moved to Salt Lake City for the benefit of her health. Guen had saved her pennies to buy a plant for her mother for Mother’s Day, but her mother passed away early on Mother’s Day, May 13, 1939, before she was able to give the plant to her mother.
Guen had just turned 12 years old. Lell made her husband Albert, and sister, Gladys Perkins Tomney, who was recently a widow, promise to marry so the four youngest girls would have a mother in the home. They honored Lell’s dying wishes and were married on July 14, 1939. Shortly thereafter the family returned to Blanding.
Don Ellis Smith returned from World War II and started dating Guen in April, 1946. They had a whirlwind romance and wed in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on June 5, 1946.
They would have celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary this June. They lovingly raised four children: Donna, Ruth (Johnson), Kim, and Ned. They have 19 grandchildren and 26 1/2 great grandchildren.
Guen loved her family, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, San Juan County, our great nation, music, books, reading, drama, and writing.
She eventually learned to love all of Don’s animals: the dogs, cows, birds, cats, rabbits, horses, a monkey, and even a couple of foxes.
She and Don ran the rivers as a young married couple and she was around the 100th person to ride through the Grand Canyon. She learned to water ski four years before she learned to swim. She also went jeeping, show skiing, and snowmobiling and hated most of it, but loved being with her sweetheart, Don, who enjoyed his sports so much.
She enjoyed traveling: Mexico and northeastern United States with the family; Europe, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas with Don, a trip around the world with three of her sisters and a brother-in-law.
Guen also performed much service for both her community and her church. She and Don served two stake missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in addition to five years in Mexican Hat, and a couple of years at the nursing home. She also taught classes, directed plays and conducted the music.
She was one of the first EMTs in Blanding. She later visited the nursing home nearly everyday bringing comfort and love to the patients there.
What an irony that the last few weeks of her life were spent in a place where she had been such a positive influence. She also wrote weekly articles for the local newspaper and contributed articles to the Salt Lake Tribune. Guen was a prolific writer and wrote beautiful poems, stories and music.
Except for short times in Salt Lake City and St. George, Guen spent her entire life in Blanding. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2002 but remained pleasant and cheerful until the very end.
In December of 2008 she fell and broke her back. She spent about a month in the hospital and was then transferred to the nursing home until our Father in Heaven called her home.
Guen was just a tiny little lady, but only in physical stature. She had a huge heart, a wonderful spirit, a powerful testimony of the gospel, and had an enormous influence on many.
In addition to her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she is survived by two sisters: Edith Frost and Ellen Atkin; sister-in-law Maxine Lyman Himmelberger; stepsister Iris McCoy; and three brothers-in-law: Floyd Atkin, Grant Reeves and John Himmelberger.
Card of Thanks
The Don E. Smith family wants to thank the extended family, neighbors, friends, and the kind people of the area for their generous support and help and the tremendous outpouring of love. A special thank you to the staff of San Juan Hospital, and Four Corners Care Center, and to Danny Palmer at the Mortuary for all the time and loving care spent on our beloved wife, mother and grandmother.