USAO News Bureau

SMITH, Laura V.

Sunday, August 1, 2004

Laura Van Smith, 100, of Las Cruces, N.M., passed away quietly on the morning of Aug. 2, 2004 after a brief illness.


She is survived by her daughter, Laura Nan Snow and two grandchildren, Ivan and Tatiana Jontulovich. Laura Van had many interests and belonged to several organizations, some of which included the United Methodist Women, P.E.O. and the El Paso chapter of the American Management Association, in which she served two years as the first female President in the early fifties.


Laura Van was born on Sept. 8, 1903 in a half-dugout cabin her father built on a claim he staked in the Oklahoma Land Rush. Though the possessed little formal education of their own, Laura s parents valued it highly and provided as much as possible for their three daughters. Laura attended Oklahoma College for Women and University of Oklahoma where she received her second Masters Degree in Business and Administration.


In 1941 Laura Van was offered a position at Las Cruces High School. Soon thereafter she began her thirty-year career as professor of Business Administration at NMSU.


After retiring, Laura learned the art of silversmithing, creating over 370 pieces in mostly Southwestern style for friends and family over the next thirty years.


Laura Van will be missed by her many friends and acquaintances. Her memorial service will be held at St. Paul s United Methodist Church at 225 West Griggs Avenue at 2 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 9, 2004.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Laura Van Smith Memorial Scholarship fund at NMSU.