Laura Wheatley ’75 Smith
Laura Lynne Smith, 66, loving wife, committed mother and adoring grandmother, left this world on July 11, 2019 – taken to a new home on the wings of angels. A long-time resident of Middleville, Laura truly resided in the hearts and souls of her family.
Born in Wyandotte on June 3, 1953 to parents Lenny and Mary Kay Wheatley, her life truly began anew in 1971 when she enrolled at Hope College. Laura fell in love with West Michigan and met her future soulmate the first day of school. The rest became a history of accomplishment with this being the final chapter on this earth as she begins a new book in the next.
After graduating from Hope in 1975, Laura began her first journey as a teacher at Maple Valley Schools – eventually teaching for 37 years within the district. She changed too many lives to count through her selfless dedication to students, always working to bring them to their highest potential without holding anyone back.
Laura married her college companion on April 2, 1977. She and Dave were not only husband and wife, but truly best friends which helped in raising their three sons – Ryan, Eric and Jarod. These boys were always counted among her major achievements in life as she watched them grow. As time changed and grandchildren came, Laura retired from teaching to enjoy her expanding family.
Recently Laura began working as an Aide at the Little Lambs Co-Op Preschool in Alaska, MI, where she could be with her grandsons and remain in touch with children. She spent hours in her flower gardens, pulling grass from their edges to replant as clumps in the yard to thicken the lawn. She was an avid rug hooker as well (whose last unfinished work was of our Keeshond, “Rudy” whom she loved and who will miss her dearly).
Laura was pre-deceased in death by her father, her in-laws (who embraced her as a daughter, Bea & Jay Smith), and two uncles. She leaves behind her husband Dave, her brother Dave Wheatley, her three sons Ryan, Eric and Jarod, a daughter-in-law Sarah, and grandchildren Taylor, Kaleb, Jordyn, Kameron, Logan and Uriyah.
Laura was a woman full of life – a little bit sassy and a lot of sweet, welcomed into Heaven far too soon. She will be missed as much in this world as she will be celebrated in the next. Be at peace, our Dear Love – we will always remember.