Cover photo for Arda Fern Keller Smith's Obituary

Arda Fern Keller Smith

October 28, 1923 — July 16, 2023

Riverdale, Idaho

Arda Fern Keller Smith

 

Arda Fern Keller Smith, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, neighbor, and friend, passed away on July 16, 2023, in her home in Riverdale, Idaho at the age of 99. She was born on October 28, 1923, in Mink Creek, Idaho, the eighth child of Leslie and Clara Keller. Throughout her life, Arda radiated love, compassion, and gratitude that touched all who knew her. Arda never met a baby she didn’t love or a child she didn’t treat as if they were the most special person on earth. Her green thumb was legendary, and she created beauty all around her with her talent.

Arda spent her childhood on the family farm in Mink Creek and could recall when electricity was installed in their home, when indoor plumbing was a luxury, and when transportation required horses. From a young age, Arda worked at various jobs on the farm beginning with riding the horse to operate the Jackson fork to lift hay, carrying water on her horse to the hired men in the fields, helping tend the sheep, and canning food from the garden.

Arda attended 11 years of school in Mink Creek. Her final year of high school was completed in Preston, where she and her sister shared an apartment because the roads were too long and rough to travel to school each day. Arda graduated from Henager Business College in Salt Lake City and began work as a secretary.  She worked in Salt Lake City and later in San Francisco.

Arda married Theo Line Smith, whom she had dated since high school, after his return from WWII service. They made their home in Riverdale, Idaho, where they embarked upon establishing a successful cattle ranch. Additional rangeland in Cottonwood required hard work and dedication, but Arda described their first summer living there as the happiest days of her life. Arda and Theo raised four children and served as occasional surrogate parents for several others.

Arda worked for 27 years at the Franklin County Assessor’s office, retiring at age 74. Her retirement allowed her more time to devote herself whole-heartedly to growing the most beautiful flowers in the valley. She delighted in extravagant outdoor Halloween decorations which encouraged large numbers of trick-or-treaters to come to her home each year. Arda enjoyed many friendships and remained actively engaged on social media until her death.

Arda was a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many capacities throughout her life. She did extraction work on her home computer well into her 80’s, learning several new computer programs. She utilized her newfound computer literacy skills in producing several small books of anecdotes from her life which she gifted to those she loved.

While we mourn her loss, let us also celebrate a long life, well-lived by a woman who was an inspiration of kindness, love, and unwavering support to all around her.

Arda is survived by her children, Sam (Vicki) Smith, Wendy (Terry) Westerberg, LaDawn (Larry) Hansen, and Kelleen (Dan Belnap) Smith, and by 10 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-granddaughter. She was preceded in death by her husband, Theo, and by one granddaughter.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 20, 2023, at 11 am in the Riverdale Second Ward Chapel, 3562 N. 1600 E., Preston.  Viewings will be held Wednesday from 6-8 pm at Webb Funeral Home, 1005 S. 800 E., Preston and Thursday from 9:30-10:30 am at the church.  Interment will be in the Riverdale Idaho Cemetery. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at webbmortuary.com.

Services will be available to stream at 11:00 a.m. MDT at the following link:

https://youtube.com/live/dy9nHRsTB6k?feature=share

 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Arda Fern Keller Smith, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Viewing

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Viewing

Thursday, July 20, 2023

9:30 - 10:30 am (Mountain time)

Riverdale LDS Ward Chapel

3562 N 1600 E, Preston, ID 83263

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Funeral Service

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Riverdale LDS Ward Chapel

3562 N 1600 E, Preston, ID 83263

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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