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Published December 13, 2012, 12:00 AM

Murl L. Smith

Murl L. Smith, 97, Breckenridge, MN died on Sunday, December 9, 2012 at the St. Francis Healthcare Campus, Breckenridge, MN.

Murl LaVerne Smith was born on May 9, 1915 in Aneta, North Dakota to Carl and Mabel (Saxrud) Fodness. She attended local schools and graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1936 with a Bachelor Degree in Physical Education. She taught at Ellendale Industrial School, Ellendale, ND for 5 years. She went on to do further graduate work at the University of Southern California. Murl entered the United States Army Corp (WAC) on July 9, 1942. She attained the rank of Captain and served as Company Commander at Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., Company Commander at Eglin Air Field, Florida and Administrative Aide to General Curtis in England and France. While serving in England, Murl met her future husband, Bryce B. Smith who came to General Curtis's office to interview. On March 8, 1945 they were married in St. Germaine, Paris, France. After the war the couple lived in Atlanta, GA for a time before moving to Jamestown, ND where Bryce worked with an auto dealership. In 1960 they moved to Wahpeton, North Dakota and founded the Smith Motors Dealership; previously the Jack Reed Chevrolet Co. Bryce passed away August 21, 1999; Murl continued to live in the Wahpeton-Breckenridge communities.

Murl L. Smith

Murl L. Smith, 97, Breckenridge, MN died on Sunday, December 9, 2012 at the St. Francis Healthcare Campus, Breckenridge, MN.

Murl LaVerne Smith was born on May 9, 1915 in Aneta, North Dakota to Carl and Mabel (Saxrud) Fodness. She attended local schools and graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1936 with a Bachelor Degree in Physical Education. She taught at Ellendale Industrial School, Ellendale, ND for 5 years. She went on to do further graduate work at the University of Southern California. Murl entered the United States Army Corp (WAC) on July 9, 1942. She attained the rank of Captain and served as Company Commander at Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., Company Commander at Eglin Air Field, Florida and Administrative Aide to General Curtis in England and France. While serving in England, Murl met her future husband, Bryce B. Smith who came to General Curtis's office to interview. On March 8, 1945 they were married in St. Germaine, Paris, France. After the war the couple lived in Atlanta, GA for a time before moving to Jamestown, ND where Bryce worked with an auto dealership. In 1960 they moved to Wahpeton, North Dakota and founded the Smith Motors Dealership; previously the Jack Reed Chevrolet Co. Bryce passed away August 21, 1999; Murl continued to live in the Wahpeton-Breckenridge communities.

Murl was the first president of the North Dakota Physical Education Association, served as PTA president in Jamestown, ND, and also served on the Chamber of Commerce Board. She was a member of AAUW, Literary Club, Bethel Lutheran Church Ladies Aide and the North Dakota State College of Science 300 Club; all in Wahpeton and the American Legion.

Murl and Bryce enjoyed their Wahpeton home and had many fond memories of fun times at Ottertail Lake, MN and winter months in the Florida Keys. They traveled extensively over the world and loved to entertain, do photography, genealogy, gardening, bird watching and sailboat racing. Truly they had a life well-lived!

Murl will be sadly missed by her two children; Sandy Lewis, Bloomington, Ill and Bryce (Cindy) Smith III, Wahpeton, ND, grandchildren, Tom Lewis, Sean (Sarah) Lewis and Bryce Smith IV, and a great grandson, Oscar James Lewis. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bryce Smith II on August 21, 1999 and two sisters; Helen Hjellum and Janice Hagert.

Memorials are preferred to the Richland-Wilkin Humane Society.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, December 14, 1 PM at Bethel Lutheran Church, Wahpeton, ND. The visitation will be Thursday, 5 PM to 7 PM at Vertin-Munson Funeral Home, and one hour before the service on Friday.

Interment will be at Fairview Cemetery, Wahpeton, North Dakota, with military honors conducted by Hafner-Miller-Ross American Legion Post #20 and ND Military Honors.

Please feel free to visit our online guestbook at www.vertinmunson.com

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