Phyllis Downing Smith
With sadness, we share the passing of Phyllis Smith on Monday, February 11, 2019 at her daughter Denise’s home here in Silver City. A Memorial Service will be held at Bright Funeral Home Chapel on Friday, February 22, 2019 at 11:00am. Phyllis was born in Mason City, Iowa to Edwin Warren Downing and Etta Losinger Downing. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Maxine, two of her sons: Ralph Edwin Smith and David Jay Smith and her granddaughter Carolyn Smith Corbett. She is survived by her three daughters and one son: Sandy Smith Norton and husband Doug of Fairbanks, Alaska; Gail Smith of Tucson, Arizona; Carl Smith and wife Mary Lou of Mansfield, Pennsylvania, and Denise Smith of Silver City, New Mexico. She is also the grandmother of eight, the great-grandmother of twelve and the great-great-grandmother of fourteen. Many of these descendants traveled to Silver City last July to celebrate her 90th birthday with her. Friends in Silver City know Phyllis as the consummate Loteria and Bingo player as well as one of several winners of the Grant County Senior Olympics in Gin Rummy (2017). She also enjoyed time spent with Friends of Bill W here and elsewhere for 42 years and appreciated the many wonderful friendships that greatly influenced her life.Phyllis was also a motorcycle enthusiast and rider most of her adult life. She rode her 1970 BMW motorcycle in several parades with the nationally renowned Motor Maids, one where the Motor Maids were featured as the opening act parading around the track at the National Flat Track Races at Columbus, Ohio. Following the race, a picture was taken of the Motor Maids in their uniforms and this photo was later featured in the book “100 Years of Harley Davidson”.While raising six children, Phyllis was also a civic activist for education, going door to door encouraging voters to support the first kindergarten in Charleston Township. When her youngest was in high school, Phyllis attended Mansfield University earning a Bachelor’s Degree in mathematics. After a stint at student teaching math to high school students, she decided her skills could be put to a more suitable endeavor, so she moved from Pennsylvania to Ridgecrest, California and became a Software Engineer. She worked as such for the China Lake Naval Weapons Base for 12 years. An intelligent and independent woman, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend to many, she will be deeply missed. The family invites you to join in a celebration of Phyllis (date, time and place).
Bright Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, “Traditional Services and Care for your family and friends”, 210 W. College Ave., Silver City, New Mexico 88061. Phone 575-388-1911. Remembrances can be made at www.brightfuneral.net
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