The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

Alden Leland Smith

 

August 15, 2018

Alden Leland Smith, 96, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 9, in Glasgow, Mont.

He was born on Aug. 26, 1921, in Glasgow, in the "old hospital." He was the first born of Samuel and Lena Smith. He grew up on their family farm/ranch in rural Richland/Larslan, Mont., with his parents and three sisters, Verneille, Margaret, and Verda.

He was baptized and confirmed, and throughout his life he was a man of strong Christian faith. He attended grade school at the little country Sunnyside School and graduated from Richland High School in 1939.

After high school, he went to Long Beach, Calif., and worked in an aircraft factory. When WWII was declared, he came back to Montana so he could enlist in the Army Air Force. His dream was to be a pilot. But, after drinking a case of carrot juice, his eyes still failed the eye test for pilots. He was sent to aircraft mechanics schools, and eventually became a crew chief on P-51 Mustangs in India and Pakistan. He was in the Air Force almost four years, stationed in Lincoln, Neb., Las Vegas, Nev., North Africa and India.

After his discharge from the service, he returned to Richland to farm with his dad.

He met the love of his life, Audrey Berntson, on a blind date arranged by his childhood friend, Bob Hansen. At the time, Audrey was a nurse at the Deaconess Hospital in Glasgow. They were married on June 18, 1949. Alden and Audrey had two children, Leland and Jacquelyn. They lived, loved, and worked on their Richland farm for the majority of their married life.

During those years, Alden served on many boards, such as the Deaconess Hospital Board, Hospital Foundation Board, Farmers Union Elevator, Farmers Union Station, Lukes 100, and Our Savior's Lutheran Church. He was chairman of the hospital board for nine years. He taught Sunday School for many years.

Alden never forgot his love for flying and he earned his private pilot's license after training in Glasgow and Bozeman, Mont. Eventually, he purchased an airplane of his own and every Sunday morning that he could, he flew to Glasgow for coffee and to get the Billings Gazette for Audrey (his excuse).

He loved visiting and helping neighbors of all ages. He acted as a fantastic medical assistant and "makeshift ambulance driver'' to Audrey, as she cared for the medical needs of the surrounding community.

Alden and Audrey loved attending family activities, community events, local theatre and local sports. While members of the Good Sam's Club, they traveled to many interesting places including camping trips in Lethbridge and Calgary, Alberta. He made sure that they rarely missed a thing, no matter if they arrived by car, truck, tractor, airplane or snowmobile. He loved traveling, music of all kinds, adventures, playing baseball, photography, camping, fishing, hunting, and playing a lot of pinochle.

Alden and Audrey retired from farming and purchased a home in Glasgow. While living there, they joined the First Lutheran Church. Alden volunteered much of his time to the maintenance of the church and also the Valley County Pioneer Museum. Later, Dad decided it was time for Mom to retire as well and they became a part of the Nemont Manor community. He was able to be there until his health required that he become a resident of Valley View Home. His family can never express enough how grateful they are for the wonderful and loving care he received from all the staff there.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Audrey; his parents; two sisters, Vemeille Faulk and Margaret Music; and two brothers-in-law, Glen Sillerud and Jack Faulk.

He is survived by one sister, Verda Sillerud; one son, Leland (Kathy) Smith; one daughter, Jacquelyn (Steve) Lund; six grandchildren, Shane Smith, Joel (Lara) Smith, Alana Zayden, Geoff Lund, Jessica Lund and Jason (Michelle) Lund; five great-grandchildren, Joey Zayden, Riley Smith, Annika Smith, Addison Lund and Aiden Lund; 14 godchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation was Friday, Aug. 10, from 6 to 8p.m., at Bell Mortuary. The service was held Saturday, Aug. 11, 10 a.m., at the First Lutheran Church in Glasgow followed by burial in Highland Cemetery.

Memorials can be made to the charity of your choice.

 

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