Evans Funeral Home

"Compassionate Funeral Service"

Carrington and New Rockford, North Dakota
701.652.3003 or 701.947.2911

Secondary Number ~ 701.650.9937

Elma Irene Smith passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on January 25, 2024 at the Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd in New Rockford, ND at age 90.  Elma was under Hospice care.

Elma Irene (Edwardson) Smith was born on February 11, 1933, to Edward & Elvida (Halvorson) Edwardson at the family farm, in Nordmore Township, rural Carrington, ND.  Elma was the 4th child in a family of 7.  She was baptized in March of 1933 and confirmed in December of 1946 at Kvernes Lutheran Church in rural Carrington, ND.  Elma held strong to her faith and loved to attend church and later in life listening to church services on the radio from the comfort of her home. 

Elma attended Nordmore Estrabrook County Schools and High School in Carrington, ND.  She was married to Lester P. Smith on November 9, 1951, at Kvernes Church.  They resided and farmed in rural Sheyenne, ND, where they raised 4 daughters and cared for several foster children.  In 1982 they purchased the Longhorn Saloon in Sheyenne.  Elma was very proud of her daughters.  Whether it be her own daughters, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, or family friends, she was always surrounded by children.  Elma had a way of making sure everyone was taken care of and no one ever went hungry, whether it was a meal at her home or a treat at a business establishment.

Her compassion for family and friends extended into her choice of employment.  She loved being around people.  She was employed at the New Rockford Hospital, Tastee Freeze in Sheyenne, Social Services, and several other places.  In 1986, she started employment with the 4th Corporation in New Rockford.  In 1987, she moved to New Rockford.  Elma really treasured the years with the people she cared for and her co-workers.  In 2004, she started working for Support Systems, caring for an individual who lived in New Rockford.  During these years of employment, she received her Developmental Disability Curriculum requirements for ND from Minot State University in 1988.  Elma was also an EMT for the New Rockford Ambulance at one time.  Her work ethic and compassion for people are such a source of pride to her family.  In her mid-80’s she reluctantly retired.

Elma enjoyed going to concerts, plays, musicals, the casino, and shopping.  She enjoyed going on trips, eating out with family & friends, driving around and her biggest compassion was sitting on her front porch sharing good conversation with Kathy Allard and anyone who would stop for a visit. 

Elma is survived by her 4 daughters, Deanna Erickson, New Rockford, ND, Denise Hanson, Fargo, ND, Pamela Loree, Minot, ND and Patricia Smith, Fargo, ND.  She is survived by 13 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-granddaughter: Christopher (Bobbie) Bichler and their 4 children, Hannah (Jarret) and her daughter, Haddie, Abigail, Dashyl and Riley; Carissa (Darin) Engstrom and their 2 children Olivia and Carter; Travis Hanson, Thea (James) Grindeland and their daughter, Estelle; Paul Loree, Patrick Loree and his 2 children, Liam and Eliza; Bethany (Dave) Lindsay and their 2 children, Charity and Gabriella; Phillip (Sabrina) Loree, Payton Loree, Jeremy Smith-Nerlien, Jade (Makenzie) Smith-Nerlien and their 2 children, Emmett and Zoe; Tiffany Smith-Nerlien and Tate Smith-Nerlien and several special nieces and nephews.   

Elma’s family was very special to her and she cherished any time she had with them.

Elma is preceded in death by her parents, 2 sisters, Mary Ellen and Verna Mae, and 4 brothers, James, Edwin, Elvin, and Norman. Her former husband, Lester P. Smith, and son-in-law, Richard Nerlien.


Elma’s Visitation will be Monday from 2:00PM-4:00PM with family present at Evans Funeral Home, New Rockford and Tuesday, January 30, 2024, from 1:00PM – 2:00PM

followed by a Funeral Service at 2:00PM all at First Lutheran Church, New Rockford, ND.

Her Burial will be at the Kvernes Lutheran Cemetery, Carrington, ND.

Posted Condolences:


  1. I’ve always liked this picture of Elma. It shows what a loving and caring woman she was. Deanna, I’m sending you lots of ((HUGGS)).

    Kathy and Corey

  2. Sending hugs to you girls. Alma was a beautiful lady with a smile always. Was a pleasure knowing her all these years.

  3. Sending hugs to Elma’s family. Always was fun spending time with her.

  4. My heart goes out to all of you. Had so much fun working with Elma, she was such a hard worker and so caring to the ones we worked for.

  5. I’m gonna miss seeing you on your front porch….

  6. So sorry for your loss. What a fun lady!

  7. So sad to hear about Elma‘s death. But she’s now in a better place. Hugs to all of you. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

  8. Sorry for your loss, I remember Elma, and how kind and welcoming she was when we moved to Sheyenne, in grade school. I hope your memories bring you comfort in this difficult time.

  9. I never knew your mom but she sounds like an amazing lady. Cherish all the memories. Prayers for you all❤️🙏🏻

  10. we are so sorry for your loss.

  11. I’m saddened to learn of Elma’s passing. She was always so sweet and caring. Thinking of you girls and praying that you are comforted by all your memories of her.

  12. I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s passing. Been many years since I’ve seen her.
    She always treated me nicely and with respect. When I lived in Sheyenne I would never forget that. That means a lot to me. A person remembers this as he gets older.
    She lived a very full life and that is very good and she had lots of friends. Rest in Peace.

  13. My deepest condolences.

  14. Smith family girls:: So sorry to hear about the passing of your Mom. She was a very special, carrying and loving lady. She was always up for an adventure and always had fun when she was doing things. The memories will always remain in your heart and comfort you in times of sadness.

  15. My memories of my favorite Aunt will be cherished forever! She made me feel so special whenever I was with her at her home, having fun with my cousins, or shopping for school clothes-she loved to take us girls shopping! She was a beautiful lady whom I always loved and respected for genuinely caring for all God’s Children. Rest in Peace Elma. You will forever be in my heart and soul. Renette (Joey)

  16. I am so sorry to hear this. She was a wonderful lady very kind and caring. Sending you lots of hugs Deanna I know this is hard on you. I pray that God will give you the strength to get through everything.

  17. I definitely remember how nice and kind she was during my childhood. She definitely won’t ever be forgotten and had a BIG kind heart.


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