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-Lorraine Smylie-

Lorraine Smylie, 85, passed away on January 30, 2010, in Medford, Oregon, where she had resided for the previous thirteen years.

Lorraine Rose Neitzel was born in Alameda, California on October 17, 1924.  During World War II, she met Columbus Junction native Robert B. "Bob" Smylie who was stationed on the west coast and flying trans-Pacific military transport aircraft.  They were married June 12, 1943, in Alameda, California.

Following the war, Bob became a captain for United Airlines and until 1950 their home was in suburban Chicago, Illinois.  In mid 1950 the family moved to Columbus Junction to join Bob's brother F.D. Smylie in the livestock and sale-barn business and to raise their family.  Lorraine was a member of the Presbyterian Church and was active in many groups, including Tri-T, Music Mothers, and Cub Scouts.  For many years she provided Smylie Livestock Company with accounting assistance, after which she managed the office (at home) for her husband during his successful life insurance career.

Following her husband’s death in 1992, Lorraine continued to live in Columbus Junction until 1996 when she moved to the Rogue Valley Manor, a retirement community in Medford, Oregon.  She was very happy with her new place of residence and promptly made close friends and loved the gentle climate and beautiful scenery of the valley.

People who knew Lorraine will long remember her beautiful smile and cheerful, caring manner.  A devoted mother, she encouraged her three sons to pursue higher education, including graduate and professional school.  She became an avid golfer relatively late in life and continued to do long-distance walking well into her retirement years.  She also cultivated a keen interest in literature, the arts and traveled extensively in North America, Europe, China and Japan.  She enrolled in Graduate Summer Workshops at the Writer's Workshop at the University of Iowa, and participated in numerous Elderhostel events, trips, and courses.

Lorraine was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in August of 2002.  Treatment put her cancer into remission until November 2009 when it was recognized that the disease was no longer responsive to treatment.  Ever upbeat, Lorraine was able to arrange a reunion in Medford with her three sons over the Christmas Holidays and to remain strong and active enough to thoroughly enjoy the visit.  Soon thereafter she found that she needed help from hospice personnel and the medical care team at the Rogue Valley Manor Care Suites.  She and her family were appreciative and in awe of the high standard of care and affection that she received there.  Her eldest son, Dean, was with her until she passed away peacefully in her sleep early Saturday morning, January 30, 2010.  According to her wishes, her ashes were scattered on the Pacific Ocean by the Neptune Society of Southern Oregon.

Lorraine is survived by two sisters, Lucille Jones, 92, of Davis, California and her identical twin Lillian Nelson, 85, of San Bruno, California, her three sons, Dean, 65, of Sherman Oaks, California, Doug, 62, of Nerviano, Italy, and Kurt, 54, of Beaumont, California, as well as five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.  In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, William E. Neitzel and Helen Ramthun Neitzel, her sister Ruth Dabadie, and brother David E. Neitzel.

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