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Ethel Joy (Harris) Smith

January 8, 1924 ~ March 2, 2019 (age 95)

     Ethel J. (Harris) Smith, loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away at the age of 95 on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at Cornerstone Villa in Buhl, MN.

     Ethel was a longtime resident of both Coleraine, MN and Buhl, MN. Born January 8, 1924, in Grand Rapids, MN to James and Ruth (Barrett) Harris.  She graduated from Greenway High School in 1942.

     After High School, Ethel went to South Dakota to visit her sister Fran and husband Pete.  It was then when she would meet her husband to be, Eugene Smith, a soldier with the U.S. Army from Moberly, Missouri.  They would be united in Marriage on her birthday, January 8, 1945.  Together they would move back to Coleraine, MN to start their new life together and raise a family.  Ethel was first and foremost a homemaker, but also worked as a telephone operator and clerk at Red Owl Grocery Store.  She was an active member of the Coleraine Methodist Church and enjoyed singing in the choir.  She also belonged to the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary.

     In 1968, Ethel and Gene moved their family over to Buhl, Mn. While in Buhl, she was an active member of the Buhl Methodist Church also singing as part of their choir.  For a couple years, she owned and operated the Hilltop Cafe in Buhl, and worked as an aide at the Mesabi Nursing Home as well.  She was a fabulous baker and cook. She also loved doing crafts, such as ceramics and crocheting in her spare time.  Above all, Ethel loved spending time with her family and friends.  Enjoying their company and being the gracious, entertaining host that she was.

     Ethel is survived by her children, Richard (Jean) Smith of Buhl, Ken (Trika) Smith of Coleraine, and Debbie (Bill) Munter of Balkan Township; grandchildren, Richard “Rick” (Chris) Smith of Hibbing, Tina (Jeff) Neumann of Virginia, Erin (Mike) Jones of Bass Lake, Kendra (Dustin) Arthur of Oshkosh, WI, Corey (Amber) Smith of Grand Rapids, Jake (Liz Aikey) Munter of Hibbing and Jesse Munter of Buhl; 10 great- grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Gloria Raskovich and Virginia Farr; and numerous nieces and nephews.

     She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Ruth Harris; husband, Eugene Smith; siblings, Richard and George Harris, Dorothy Fragnito, Fran Mitchell and Connie Mercurio.

     The family would like to give a special mention and thanks to the caregivers and friends at Northland Village and Cornerstone Villa, both located in Buhl, where she last resided.

     A Celebration of Life will be held Friday, March 22, 2019 in the Peterson Funeral Chapel of Coleraine. Visitation will be at 10:00 AM and the service will start at 11:00 AM.  To leave an online message of condolence, go to

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