Miriam Smith (Kjesbu)
Miriam Estelle Smith, neé Kjesbu, age 67, died in Seattle on Friday, February 2, 2018, with her family singing hymns at her bedside.
Miriam was born on May 3, 1950 in Aberdeen to the late Lorraine “Crane” Oliver Kjesbu and Estella Edna Burlingame Kjesbu. She was valedictorian of her class, graduating from Montesano High School in 1968. She got her degree in nursing from Seattle Pacific College in 1972, then worked a summer at Camp Bethel, where she was reunited with her junior high crush, James “Jim” Ronald Smith. They knew they had something special, and on December 16, 1972, Miriam and Jim were married at Montesano Presbyterian Church.
She worked as a labor and delivery nurse in Seattle and Portland and as a hospital administrator at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Aberdeen. Along with her husband, she helped start the first Nautilus gym on the west coast in Aberdeen over 35 years ago. She was a gentle soul with a tender heart, devoting herself to serving others, from her official role in the hospital to her care for ailing family members. She loved the Lord and graciously aided her community, using her musical gifts as pianist at Cosmopolis Gospel Chapel and pianist and choir director at Wishkah Valley Community Church; her engaging storytelling as an AWANA leader and Vacation Bible School teacher; and her gifts of hospitality and administration in the Montesano P.E.O. chapter.
She was predeceased by her husband of 39 years, James Ronald Smith, and is survived by her daughters, Jessica Rochelle Besso of North Bend, WA; Monica Elyssa Smith of Maple Valley, WA; and Anika Michelle Smith of Brentwood, MD; her sister, Carol Virginia McDougall, her brother, William Edward Kjesbu, her son-in-law, James Fernekeith Besso, her grandsons, Jeremiah Oren Besso and Josiah Crane Besso, loving brothers- and sisters-in-law, and nieces and nephews.
Miriam’s Funeral service will be held at the Montesano Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 10:30 AM.
A message of condolence or of a memory can be left for the family at www.fernhillfuneral.com. Arrangements are entrusted to Fern Hill Funeral Home in Aberdeen.