WDAY.com |

North Dakota's #1 news website 10,650,498 page views — March 2014

Published June 11, 2013, 12:00 AM

Lin K. Smithwick

Jan. 24, 1944 - June 8, 2013

Lin Kay Smithwick, 69, Fargo, ND, passed away on the evening of June 8th after a brief battle with cancer and with her two sons by her side.

Lin K. Smithwick

Jan. 24, 1944 - June 8, 2013

Lin Kay Smithwick, 69, Fargo, ND, passed away on the evening of June 8th after a brief battle with cancer and with her two sons by her side.

She was born Jan 24, 1944 in Luverne, MN to Tula and Melvin Johnson and the family ultimately settled in Fargo, ND in 1955. She met her future husband, Grover Smithwick when they were both attending NDSU. They married on August 11, 1964 and eventually landed in Aiken, South Carolina where her two sons Tom and John Smithwick were raised. She worked as a reporter for Akin Standard and it was here that she fine-tuned her incredible ability to tell inspiring stories about everyday people. After her and Grover's divorce, she became the epitome of a strong single mother who was not only a role model to her sons but also to her community.

She waited until her sons graduated before moving back to the Midwest to be closer to her mother Tula and her sister Rhonda. She lived in Detroit Lakes for a number of years where she worked for the Detroit Lakes Tribune. She was in love with this small lakeside community and besides being a huge supporter of the Detroit Lakes Lakers, she got to know the townspeople and their stories. She was also a huge hit over the 4th of July holidays where she would cook for days to feed her son and nieces and all of their friends. Her breakfasts were legendary and she never let anyone get hungry or go without a place to stay. The wonderful stories of those whom she touched during that time period will live on for years and years to come.

Most recently Lin wrote for the Cass County Reporter and was also a contributor to Inspired Home. Perhaps Lin's greatest legacy was her ability to tell a story. Regardless of who she was interviewing she always managed to make everyone feel like a celebrity and each story she told was with love and genuine excitement. She was also a huge advocate and supporter of the local food scene and showed her support by not only frequenting her favorite establishments but also telling anyone who would listen what they were missing. When she supported something or someone she always strived to find ways to elevate that person or business whether it was through her positive encouragement or by finding ways to help take things to the next level.

Her biggest passions in life, besides her family were her love of cooking and her incredible collection of books, many of which of course, were cookbooks. Her cooking style was adventurous and healthy alternatives were seldom in her repertoire. When she showed up for a party, bringing just one dish was not an option. Instead she usually managed to whip up one for almost every course. Despite all of the time she spent in the kitchen there was one thing you could always count on and that was her signature potato chips and sour cream and onion dip. No matter what the occasion the chips and dip would make an appearance and usually would not stick around for long. She could not follow a recipe to save her life and always managed to give everything her special touch. The excitement in her eyes when someone would love her food was priceless.

Lin not only touched her own family with her childlike love of life but also each and every person who met her and/or read her stories. She gave with all of her heart to everyone she loved without a thought in the world to herself and her generosity to others was endless. She enjoyed giving a gift as much if not more than the person she was giving it to and it took serious restraint for her to not rip the package right out of your hand and open it herself she would get so excited.

She is survived by her mother, Tula Henrikson of Fargo; sister, Rhonda (Bernie) Ness, Fargo; sons, Tom (Traci) Smithwick, Mars Hill, NC; John Smithwick, Anderson, SC; eight grandchildren and step grandchildren; one great grandson; and her three nieces, Nikki (Paul) Berglund; Megan Ness; and Dani (Micah) Arnold.

She was preceded in death by her father, Mel Johnson; and stepfather, "Dutch" Henrikson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Cass County Historical Society or the Casselton Reporter.

Memorial Service: 10:00am, Thursday, June 13, 2013 at First Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND, with a visitation one hour prior.

Burial: Riverside Cemetery, Fargo, ND.

Please feel free to sign the online guestbook at www.hansonrunsvold.com