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Milla Backen Smith

Wasilla resident Milla Backen Smith, 93, died April 24, 1999, in her home after an extended illness.

A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. today at Valley Funeral Home. She will be laid to rest at Hermiston Memorial Cemetery in Hermiston, Ore.

Mrs. Smith was born June 2, 1905, in Portland, Ore. She completed high school and earned an associate's degree in secretarial services.

She was a secretary for several businesses in Portland before moving to Hermiston to work at the Umatilla Army Depot. While there in 1941, she met Horace Smith, whom she married. They started a small laundry and then a successful hardware business.

Mrs. Smith retired in 1966 when the couple sold their business.

She was a lifetime member of the Norse Hall and she enjoyed any type of needle craft, quilting, crochet, needle point, embroidering or clothing. She was also an avid reader and gardener.

She moved to Alaska in 1996 and resided in Wasilla.

Her daughter Sylvia said, "She was a gentle person with a subtle wit and a great sense of humor. She taught us to explore and try new things or ideas. She was an innovator. Mom's persistence and independence is evident in each of her children's lives. We learned from her example. She will be greatly missed."

Mrs. Smith is survived by daughters, Susan Smith of Portland and Sylvia Stewart of Wasilla; son, Bob Smith of Hermiston; grandchildren, Shari Cribbs and Randy Smith of Hermiston and Zachary and Kris Langford of Portland; and two great-grandchildren.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Valley Funeral Home.

Source: Anchorage Daily News 29 April 1999



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