LaLoie Alice Lee, known to everyone as Loie, died peacefully from natural causes on Thursday, September 9th, after a visit by her loving husband of 73 years and her four sons. Loie lived a full and wonderful life beginning with her birth in 1926, three days after Christmas in Bellingham, Washington. She was the youngest daughter of Frank and Alice Smith.
She grew up in the Pacific Northwest with seven great friends that stayed close for many years after their school girl days. She skied, swam, rode horses, as well as, sang in church choirs and performed in all of the high school plays and vocal performances.
LaLoie Smith finished high school in Bellevue, Washington and worked a year to save money for a college education. She later enrolled as a freshman at Washington State College in Pullman, Washington where she tossed a quarter to an Army Veteran and architecture student, Orville Lee, and asked him to run to the corner store to buy her some crackers for her cheese. They were married in 1948.
Orv and Loie stayed in Pullman where they raised four sons, Pat, Mike, Sid, and John. In that small college town where Loie became the lead actress and vocalist for a traveling theatrical company that toured across the Pacific Northwest, show tunes filled their home.
In 1961 Loie and the family moved east to Falls Church, Virginia where Orv started an architectural career with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Loie spent the next 15 years centered on family and the four boys. She played bridge, managed her children’s sports teams, and sang constantly. Loie was the matriarch of the family, the cook, housemaid, camp counsellor, and primary disciplinarian. But mostly, she was in charge of “worrying”. She fretted about everything effecting her children and the family. Her concern and worry became the center of humor for the family as her boys grew to young men.
In 1974 she and Orv moved to Cuckold Creek, in Southern Maryland where they built their dream home near the Chesapeake Bay. Loie created a spectacular azalea garden, swam daily, played bridge with friends, and worked as a Docent for the Sotterly Plantation in St. Mary’s County. The family grew with the addition of nine grandchildren that spent the summer playing in their beautiful home on the creek.
Orv and Loie built an A-frame cabin on the top of a Virginia mountain, bordering the Shenandoah National Park, where they became very active in the Skyline Lakes community. When Orv retired, they hitched their fifth-wheel to their truck and toured America from the “blue roads”. They surfaced from their great adventure four months later in Alaska.
The inseparable pair spent years commuting back and forth from the eastern shore to mountains until June of 2003 when they move to a home in High Knob near Front Royal, Virginia.
In High Knob Loie and Orv established a community Coffee and Bagel gathering that united the neighborhood and the “CAB Club” became the center of their social circle. Loie’s family continued to grow with the addition of 9 grand children and 10 great grand children.
Loie and Orv created a storybook life and a wonderful family. Her joy of life and love of family was reflected everyday in her smile and wonderful voice. When she sang, even the songbirds paused to listen the beautiful music.
A Celebration of Life will be held in December, near her 95th birthday.