HERMISTON Adeline "Addie" Smith, 76, died Wednesday, Jan. 31, at her home in Hermiston.
On June 3, 1930, Adeline "Addie" Phyllis Kimball was born in a tent next to the John Day River, the last child of John (Caldwell) and Mathia (Jones) Kimball, pioneers of the John Day Valley.
John was a farm laborer, teamster, and some time logger. It was said he freighted teams over Shaniko to California during his tenure as a teamster. John was the father of nine children older than Addie, and John had died six months previous to Addie's birth, of surgical complications from gallbladder/appendix surgery. Only two of Addie's sisters are alive today, Opal Anderson of Phoenix, Ariz., and Marie Fredinberg of Grants Pass.
Addie, the baby, toiled the farm life as much as possible and at the age of 3 years old, acquired a stepdad, retired and disabled Army veteran, Horace Richardson, with whom her mother had another two children, a half-sister and a half-brother, both of whom are now deceased.
When Addie was 12, she went to work for the Hall Ranch in Prairie City as a live-in-worker, cooking for hay crews and sitting with the elderly grandmother who was weak and dying.
She was schooled in John Day and attended Canyonville Christian College in Canyonville.
At 18, she met and married a Missouri boy Ralph Thompson, who had recently left the Coast Guard and was in the area logging. Shortly thereafter the couple moved to the Willamette Valley where Ralph graduated from O.T.I. as a registered land surveyor. It was during this time frame that the couple had three children, Wesley, now of Alaska, Harvey, now of Pendleton, and Cheryl, now of Nevada, all alive and well.
The family then moved to Pendleton, where Addie went to work as a bookkeeper after the children were all in school. During this time she was divorced and married her current husband, Ted Smith, a local carpenter and housebuilder. Her last job was for Dr. Danner, prior to retirement.
As a retired senior, she enjoyed music tremendously, as well as senior dances and gatherings.
Addie came from a deeply religious background and always attended church, even when visiting relatives out of town.
Addie loved history, especially Oregon Pioneer history, and had a special affection for children and seniors, often babysitting for free and tending to the elderly and infirm, always willing to help. She never turned down a request for help.
Funeral services will be at the Country Church, 32742 Diagonal Road, Hermiston on Monday, Feb. 5, 10 a.m., with burial to follow at the Hermiston Cemetery.
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in charge of the arrangements.