Penny Jean Black Smith
November 6, 1940 ~ April 6, 2021
We are saddened by the passing of a beloved mother and dear friend to all, Penny Jean Smith (Ray), maiden name Black, on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at the home of her son, Ricky Smith, who attended to her poor health conditions.
Penny was a beautiful and very smart woman who never let adversity get in her way. She always taught others this same principle too!
Penny Jean Black, was born on November 6, 1940 in Salt Lake City, UT to parents Alvin K Black of Blanding and Beula Bailey Black of Monticello. She was the fourth of seven children. Drexel, Mel Rae, Peggy, Clayton, Laurel (all preceded in death), and her sister Lorraine (still living).
They all lived in a small house at the Carlisle Ranch near what is now the Monticello Airport, where their father, Alvin, attended the farm and livestock while also working in town at the uranium mill.
In 1954, they all moved to Mesa, AZ where, at the age of 15, Penny and her sister Peggy started dating two very likeable guys, Grant Smith and his best friend Jim Starks. Later, Grant married Penny and Jim married Peggy, so Grant and Jim joined the Navy to start their families.
Penny and Grant had three boys, Ricky, Randy, and Shon. They had many enjoyable outdoor adventures together as a family.
Penny later became widowed after Grant had a terrible accident while working on his car in 1967. Penny then longed for the days and memories of her childhood home of Monticello, and it wasn’t long after that Penny and the boys moved and settled in Monticello for a duration of almost 10 years.
There in Monticello, Penny loved the outdoors and often spent her summers attending to her love of gardening and raising horses. On the weekends she enjoyed having barbecues and meeting up with her numerous coffee friends, including her best friend and cousin Jackie (Bailey) Steele. They enjoyed searching for arrowheads and exploring the mazes of San Juan County. During the winter months she learned to trap, catching coyotes and bobcats and making enough money to buy a house of her own and to provide extras for her three boys.
Penny often held down two jobs to get ahead in life. She always believed in hard work, and she was no slacker. During these years in Monticello, she was a waitress at the Lariat Café, and for a short time she worked as a bank teller and a telephone operator.
She later became the manager of the Monticello Mercantile for Lisle Adams. She believed in giving good reliable customer service.
In 1977 she moved back to Arizona where she worked as a Housekeeping Manager at several hotels. Later, she decided to retire and settled down south in San Manuel, AZ near her oldest son Ricky and where her sisters Peggy and Lorraine also retired.
Penny is survived by her sons Ricky and Shon, her 11 grandchildren, and many more great-grandchildren.
Much to Penny’s sorrows, her son Randy passed away in 2012. The one thing Penny had a hard time accepting was the death of her loved ones. We are sure Penny is now enjoying her family reunion with them and her many friends on the other side. Love and miss you Penny!
A celebration of her life will take place at a later date.