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Jean Marie Smith
September 10, 1927 ~ June 21, 2023 (age 95) 95 Years Old
Jean grew up in Lengby, Minnesota as the third of five children to Steve Vasilakes and Pearl (Snidow), and enjoyed the simple farm life and freedom that came with small town living, often talking about it. She became a registered nurse from Deaconess Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota, then graduated as well from Bethany School of Missions in Bloomington, Minnesota. She married Edgar Iverson in October of 1951 and gave birth to their daughter, Jeanette in December of 1953. After Edgar’s death, she married Merlin Smith in June of 1958 and Merlin adopted Jeanette who was just three years old. Merlin and Jean later gave birth to their daughter, Elva, in February of 1963. Jean served on staff at the Missionary Training Center, working as the Supervisor in the Platemaking Department Print Shop for Bethany House Publishing, was a school nurse, and later went to the Philippines as a missionary where she used her nursing skills and taught nutrition in their Bible School. She and her husband, Merlin, unofficially adopted the orphaned Borela children in the Philippines and later officially adopted Lee, the youngest.
She is survived by her daughter Elva Nelson, son, Lorenzo (“Lee”) Borela, two granddaughters, Angela (Lofthus) Chapman, Sara (Lofthus) Sutter, grandson, Derek Teig Borela, and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Merlin, daughter, Jeanette (Lofthus) McCullough, granddaughter, Lisa (Lofthus) Holter, her brothers, Bill and George Vasilakes, and her sisters, Argory Mott and Louse McColl.