Roberta L. "Berta" Smith
Roberta “Berta” Lee Smith passed away at Hospice House in Bellingham on Sunday, July 26, she was 70 years old. Berta was born on January 6, 1950 to parents Louie and Babe Smith. She joined big sister Kim and later would have younger sisters, Annette and Paula.
As a child Berta and her family moved quite often and made homes in several states including Montana, New Mexico, and Arizona. Berta graduated from Winslow High School (AZ) in 1968 after transferring in her senior year from Payson High (AZ) School. In 1969, along with her family she finally settled in Bellingham. In 2013 Berta and her sister Paula moved to Lynden.
However, to Berta, home was wherever she was at the moment and wherever her beloved friends and family were. Friends and family were the cornerstone of her life and she “adopted” so many people that it’s hard to count. But, to be sure, she loved each and every one for their own unique personalities and roles they played in her life. In her later years, when it became more difficult for her to go out, she would spend much time reminiscing about loved ones far and wide.
Berta was a caregiver at heart, a storyteller, and loving soul with an open heart. When her father, Louie, died in 1992, she became the main caregiver of her younger sister Paula until Paula’s death in 2019. Berta spent much of her life in the capacity of caregiving for the elderly as the administrator and staff of retirement homes in Bellingham. While Berta never had children of her own, the nephews and nieces that she was blessed with were the recipients of her unconditional love - we wouldn’t be the people we are today without her in our lives.
Many people remember Berta’s love for creating dolls and beadwork. Dolls were a constant in her house and many people remember dolls in process littering the dining room table or elsewhere. Berta was up for anything - from participating in “hair shows,” to volunteering at the Bellingham Theater Guild to traveling the US with family and friends. As retirement approached she enjoyed the Red Hat Society and the many get-togethers with all the amazing women.
Berta was preceded in death by her parents, Louis “Louie” and Elvina “Babe”, and sisters, Yvonne and Paula. Berta is survived by sisters, Kim Yarnell of Enumclaw, and Annette Schultz of Bellingham; brother-in-law David Schultz; nieces and nephews, Darlene (Jim) Kline, John Minaker, Troy Yarnell, Kelly (Shelly) Yarnell, Jerrie (Troy) Luginbill, Skye Yarnell, Alex (Aziza) Schultz and DeAnne (Josh) York; great nieces and nephews, Jordan (Ryan) Pruden, Archer Luginbill, Olivia Kline, Skylar, Alexis and Ty Yarnell, Nicholas Minaker, June Schultz, Penelope, Frankie and Felix York and great-great nephews Finn and Callahan and great-great niece Luna.
Berta’s death defines a new chapter in all of our lives. No doubt she will be deeply missed by her family and amazing friends. Her family would like to give a special thanks to Patricia Gallager for not only her special caregiving over the past several years, but doing so with the love of her friendship with Berta that spanned several decades. Also, thanks to Sarah Sherwood for putting her heart into caregiving over the past year. We are forever grateful.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Whatcom Hospice House who cared for Berta in the last few days of her life. Whatcom Hospice House will forever be a special place to our family.