80°F
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.
THE LATEST
Proposal to change council meeting time fails

City Council meetings will continue to start at 7 p.m., even though some members would like them to start earlier.

Council aims to adopt new airport fuel standards

The fuel standards for Boulder City Municipal Airport are back on the table as City Council will discuss them at a meeting in June.

Train museum access road to be discussed

The Boulder City community will have an opportunity to weigh in on a new road for the proposed expansion of the Nevada State Railroad Museum at a public meeting this afternoon.

 
Police officers promoted

Boulder City Police Department promoted four officers and swore in another during a special ceremony May 6.

Longtime employee Adou to helm BC airport

Boulder City Municipal Airport has a new manager, longtime employee Marissa Adou.

Honey seller facing misdemeanor charge

The owner of Avenue G Local Honey is facing a misdemeanor charge and code violation for operating without the proper permits and license.

Cat horder gets 90-day suspended jail sentence

A former resident received a 90-day suspended jail sentence for hoarding almost 70 cats in his Boulder City mobile home in 2019.