weather icon Clear

Smith, original 31er, dies

Laura Godbey Kelly Smith, whose family was part of the original 31ers in Boulder City, died Sept. 7 at the age of 90.

In her life, Smith was known throughout Nevada for her love of family and her service to the community.

“She was a loving person,” said Smith’s older sister, Ila Clements-Davey.

Clements-Davey said Smith liked to surprise her and their three siblings all of the time and enjoyed helping anyone who needed it.

“I just miss her, period,” she said. “She was always upbeat even when she was sick. She was a service person. She never hesitated to go help.”

Smith’s daughter, Peggy Kelly Durfey, remembers her mom as a hard worker who raised her and her brother, Joe.

“She was a single mom for pretty much all of my childhood,” Durfey said.

Durfey said her parents divorced when she was a year old, and after that she, her brother Joe and Smith moved to Boulder City to live with her grandparents, the Godbeys.

Smith worked in Las Vegas for several years before going into real estate and earning her broker’s license when Durfey was a teenager. She served on the Boulder City Planning Commission for one term and helped with the Clark County Planning Commission and Nevada Highway Department.

“Even as a young girl, she started out doing community service because that’s what our family did. … We were always involved in everything community service,” Durfey said. “We all worked together.”

When Smith wasn’t working, one hobby she enjoyed was gardening. Durfey said she was known throughout town for the succulents she nurtured.

Durfey said her mom stopped working in real estate when she was 79 to take care of Joe, who had been paralyzed years before and needed help.

Smith was active politically and served as vice chairwoman and chairwoman of the Clark County Democratic Party. Durfey said Smith was friends with many politicians and attended the inaugural ball for President Jimmy Carter. Also, Smith worked with many of today’s politicians in Nevada, such as Gov. Steve Sisolak and Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto.

Historian Dennis McBride said that in her life, Smith carried on what Boulder City was built on: community support, community service and helping your neighbors.

“It (Boulder City) wouldn’t be what it is today if those 31ers hadn’t done that,” he said. “She continued that. … Her kids have continued that same tradition of involvement in the community.”

A memorial service for Smith will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 20, at St. Andrew Catholic Community, 1399 San Felipe Drive. After the service, there will be a celebration of life gathering in St. Andrew’s social hall.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Lagan aims for Olympics

Boulder City’s Alexis “Lexi” Lagan is one competition away from qualifying for the 2020 Olympics and on the verge of making history in women’s sport pistol.

Council to correct alleged open meeting law violation

City Council members will soon have the opportunity to correct what City Attorney Steve Morris believes is an open meeting law violation that occurred Oct. 8.

New phone contract to save city thousands

Boulder City will save more than $300,000 over the next five years by switching to a different company for its telephone service.

Ready to Fight Fires

Hali Bernstein Saylor/Boulder City Review

News Briefs, Oct. 17

Help needed to complete census

Unintentional calls tie up 911 line

Misuse and abuse of the 911 system is divided into two categories: unintentional and intentional.

Birthday Worth Celebrating

Noel Tipon, left, of Kailua, Hawaii, accepts a cupcake from Thomas Valencia, a ranger at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, as the park celebrated its 55th birthday Tuesday, Oct. 8. Joining in the cake cutting ceremonies was park ranger Matt Caire.

Racetrack lease amended

Human-driven cars can now be used at the racing facility on Quail Drive after City Council unanimously approved a lease amendment for it during its meeting Tuesday, Oct. 8.