“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Wendy Smith Crawford went home to be with Jesus on July 27, 2020, surrounded by her loving family after losing her courageous battle to Multiple Sclerosis and other health-related issues.
Wendy was born on December 12, 1961, to Russell and Nancy Smith in West Palm Beach, Florida. She joined her older brother, Jeffrey, and eighteen months later would be joined by her younger sister, Lynn, to complete the family. Little did both girls know that not only would they be sisters for life, but also best friends.
In Florida, Wendy attended Lake Park Elementary School. Living in Florida offered weekend trips to the beach, outings on the family boat to Peanut Island exploring and looking for shells, chasing armies of miniature sand crabs, and building sandcastles on the shore with her siblings.
In 1970, the family moved to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where they lived on Woodruff Avenue. Wendy attended Theresa Bunker Elementary School. The next year, the family moved to the New Sweden area west of Idaho Falls. When the move was made from Florida to Idaho, it was met with great excitement from Wendy with her dreams of owning a horse. She won the battle of persuasion with our parents and soon Gypsy and Tumbleweed were purchased. Other horses were to follow, but these first two would always remain special to her.
Years of horse showmanship in the Silver Spurs 4-Horse Club followed, along with riding in the Idaho Falls Junior Posse. Wendy was also active in other areas of 4-H which included sheep projects, sewing, and knitting, but horses were always her passion. Afternoons after school Wendy and Lynn could be seen racing off the bus, grabbing a snack, and heading to the barn to saddle horses for a ride with a group of friends on backcountry roads until the evening would call them home.
Wendy attended New Sweden Elementary School, Eagle Rock Junior High School, and Skyline High School. Upon graduating from high school Wendy attended Eastern Idaho Vocational/Technical School earning her nursing degree.
Wendy was a dedicated nurse beginning her career working at Riverview Hospital. She worked for many different medical practices through the years, finalizing her years of nursing in Idaho Falls working for the Idaho Heart Institute and finally Creekside Home Health. Wendy was a conscientious and caring nurse and loved the patients she served, particularly the elderly. She enjoyed hearing their stories of life and was always an attentive and sympathetic listener.
On July 11, 1980, Wendy married Richard Smith. The two purchased their first house in the Rigby area and Wendy took great pride in making it a home. She loved to decorate and like our dad, had a tremendous gift for gardening. She was always planning and creating new beds of flowers, often seeking his advice. Wendy had a creative artistic flair which could be seen in the landscaping of her yards, interior of her homes, and the many sewing projects and crafts that she created through the years. Wendy and Richard had two sons. Gavin Wade Smith was born on December 15, 1982, and Tyson James Smith was born four years later, on May 13, 1986. Wendy deeply loved her boys. She was their biggest fan supporting them in the sports they played - Grid Kid football through high school football, attending their games and cheering them on. She was extremely proud of their academic accomplishments and loved sharing their achievements with family and friends. She often stated some of her happiest moments were when her boys were young. When both boys married, Wendy was happy to have gained two daughters, Heaven and Ashley. She loved the country living in all its simplicity. She loved being outdoors, particularly in the mountains and would relish the family camping trips and the many times she would come to visit in Montana.
Wendy was an “old soul” who loved history and things from the past. Wendy and Lynn would spend many weekends visiting garage sales, estate sales, and antique stores. Wendy saw the beauty in simple things, and the older and more primitive a piece was made it more treasured. She rarely changed the patina of anything she bought, leaving it in its original state for its story to be told.
In August of 2003, Wendy married Alan “Bruce” Crawford in Idaho Falls. In 2006, they moved to Layton, Utah, where Bruce began working for the University of Utah Medical Center in the Cath Lab. A year later Wendy went to work at the VA hospital in West Valley, Utah. A few short years later, she was forced to retire from the VA and leave her career as a nurse due to her ongoing health issues.
Wendy underwent numerous surgeries over the years, too many to count and far too many than anyone should ever have to experience. Bruce was always by her side providing, patiently caring for her, and giving her every ounce of his strength and love.
In June of 2019, he and Wendy moved back to Idaho Falls. Wendy was overjoyed to be back in the area where she grew up and had always loved. It was such a blessing for her to live her last year surrounded by family.
Wendy was a lover of animals. Horses, dogs, and a cat or two would become part of her family. She loved her Yorkie dogs. Through her years of being housebound, they were a constant source of joy and companionship. “Maddie” and “Millie” preceded her in death. Knowing how much she loved them both, it brings comfort in believing they were there to welcome her home.
As a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and aunt, Wendy gave the best of herself. She recognized the importance of family and even through her own physical battles she was the strength that held us together. She loved her grandchildren dearly and would brag about them regularly. She loved her nieces and nephew often stating they were “her children, too.” Wendy leaves behind a legacy of love and faithfulness, selflessness, compassion for others, and courage. She was the bravest person we know, never giving in or giving up until the Lord called her home.
Wendy was preceded in death by her father Russell A. Smith on May 17, 2003. She and our dad always shared a special bond. It gives us great comfort in knowing that they are now reunited and believe them to be walking through God’s beautiful gardens together.
Wendy is survived by her loving husband Alan Bruce Crawford and mother Nancy C. Smith both of Idaho Falls, Idaho, sons Gavin W. Smith (Heaven) of Twin Falls, Idaho, and Tyson J. Smith (Ashley) of Rigby, Idaho, brother Jeffrey S. Smith of Mobile, Alabama, sister Lynn Schroder (Stephen) of Dell, Montana, niece Tyla Rae Cox (Bob) of Red Rock, Montana, nephew Jasper C. Schroder(Chelsea) of Houston, Texas, and niece Emilie Lynne Schroder of Dell, Montana, grandsons, Cayden, Jorden, and Tristen and granddaughters Jentry, Ember, and Amara. She is also survived by her remaining two Yorkies, Cooper and Sadie, and her cat, Winston.
The family wishes to thank everyone who has reached out to us during this difficult time in prayer and love. Wendy’s wishes were to be cremated and to keep things simple without a service. In lieu of flowers, we would suggest a contribution to a local animal shelter, as this was something near to Wendy’s heart.
As the writer of this obituary, I am sharing words from a song with special meaning to me. I believe my sister would approve.
“Kingdoms come and go but they don’t last
Before we know the future is the past,
In spite of what’s been lost or what’s been gained
We are living proof that love remains…”
- Love Remains by Colin Raye
My family is deeply saddened in knowing what we have lost, but also feel great joy in knowing what Wendy won. She is now free from pain and suffering and is at peace with Jesus. Forever, we will carry her legacy of love within our hearts.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Wendy (Smith) Crawford, please visit our floral store.