Lyle Duane Smith, 88, of East Grand Forks, MN passed away peacefully on December 26, 2022 surrounded by his family.
Born on July 4, 1934 in Grand Forks, ND, to George Hermanus and Ruth Irene (Hammer) Smith, Lyle graduated from East Grand Forks High School and proudly served his country for four years in the US Navy. He went on to attend avionics school in Kansas City, working for Trans World Airlines (TWA). After returning to East Grand Forks, he held various jobs, including Walman Optical, before beginning his career as a plumber at the Grand Forks Air Force base where he worked for 25 years before retiring in the mid-90s. After retirement, Lyle worked part-time doing maintenance work at area Burger King restaurants in the Red River Valley community.
Lyle was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart Dolly (Judith) Jeffrey on August 25, 1952 at First Lutheran Church in East Grand Forks, MN. Four children were born to this union, Janet (Rick Olson), Jim (Suzanne Antrim), Kristi (John Brutlag), and David (Leah Weigel).
Dolly & Lyle resided in rural East Grand Forks on Rhinehart Drive for 50 years before moving to a townhome in the Crestwood development in 2013 and, September 2022, into Valley Senior Living in Grand Forks.
Lyle was a witty, gentle, and curious man who always had numerous questions for everyone he encountered. He loved when he was able to persuade someone to tell him their life story. Lyle also enjoyed listening to audio books and old-time country music.
Lyle will be especially missed by his twelve grandchildren, with whom he spent countless hours foraging for deals at rummage sales and making frequent trips to the candy store. Lyle always had a magical sparkle in his eyes, as if there was a joke that he was waiting for us all to get caught up on.
Lyle will be missed by all who had the great privilege of knowing him. He had the gift of gab and could (and would) talk to anyone. His passing creates a hole in many hearts that cannot be mended but will now be filled with countless fond memories.
Lyle is survived by his wife; four children; sisters, Evelyn Hensrud and Pat Erickson; brother-in-law, Bill Jeffrey; sister-in-law, Doreen (Geatz) Smith; 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Lyle also had many nieces, nephews, and close friends that will surely miss his sense of humor!
Lyle was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Jerry and Paul Smith; and son-in-law, Rick Olson.
The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the TRF News at Valley Senior Living, Red River Valley Hospice, and Comfort Keepers for making Lyle’s last few months, weeks, and days comfortable.
Memorial Service is 11:30am on Friday, December 30th, 2022 at First Lutheran Church, 203 5th Avenue NW, East Grand Forks, MN, with Visitation 1 hour prior. Immediately following the service, please join the family for lunch & fellowship in the church basement.
In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Red River Valley Hospice, First Lutheran Church, or Valley Senior Living.
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