Flags in front of the University Place Municipal Building flew at half-staff earlier this week to honor former U.P. Mayor Lorna Smith who passed away on March 13.
Smith spent more than 15 years in service to the City of U.P, both as an advocate for its incorporation and later as a City Council Member, Mayor Pro Tem and Mayor from 2000 to 2002. She was a tireless public servant, who in addition to her work with University Place also represented the City on several regional organizations, including the Pierce County Regional Council, Pierce County Cities and Towns, the State Route 16 Corridor Study and the Association of Washington Cities, to name just a few.
“Lorna had a vision—a vision for what she believed University Place could be if it were in charge of its own destiny—but she also possessed the willpower and work ethic to make it happen,” said Caroline Belleci, mayor of University Place. “She inspired me to volunteer and to get involved in city government. I am personally forever grateful to Lorna for that, and I know she inspired many others as well.”
According to her granddaughter Elena Anderson, Smith was a native of Eugene, Ore., and never finished high school. Yet she went on to become a successful businesswoman and community activist in addition to her roles as a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. “She would always tell us that you have to have goals,” recalled Anderson. “And you have to be involved in the community and help others.”
Lorna Smith is survived by her husband of 43 years, Elmer Smith, three daughters, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23 at New Tacoma Cemetery, 9212 Chambers Creek Road W., University Place.