Obituary: Luanne Marie Raun Smith, July 18, 1935, to Aug. 2, 2018
Luanne Marie Raun Smith passed away peacefully at her home at Brookdale Park Place on Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018, with Dr. Ronald Lee Smith, her husband of 62 years. He was by her side the last two years while she was in the Brookdale Hospice program.
Luanne was born July 18, 1935, in Omaha, Nebraska, and was raised in nearby Walthill, Nebraska, with her parents Alfred and Marie Raun and her sister, Patricia Ann Raun Samuelson, who preceded her in death.
She graduated from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, where she was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma fraternity and majored in speech and drama. She appeared in numerous plays, including summer stock in Minnesota, and in many productions in Vail. She and Ronald spent 35 years in Vail, having bought their condominium in 1969. She and Ronald started their family and spent the first nine years of their marriage in Pueblo, where both were employed by District 60, Pueblo public schools.
After Pueblo, she, Ron and the girls moved back to Lincoln, where Ron went to graduate school and got his doctorate in education. From there, they moved to Denver, where she modeled and was a member of the Rolling Hills Country Club and part of the ladies golf organization.
When the girls went to college at Nebraska, she and Ron moved permanently to Vail. She loved working at Gorsuch Ltd. in Vail, loved lunch on Pepi’s porch, the Broncos, the “Treat Sheet” and Nebraska football. She was an excellent skier, more known for her red-checked tablecloth picnics at the top of Vail Mountain than perfectly racing down just about any slope. And she was a proud member of Vail’s Happy Hikers, constantly talking about the 14ers they had climbed.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
After spending several years traveling in their motor home, including a season watching granddaughter Dylann play soccer at the University of Oregon, she and Ronald sold the Vail condo and moved to a loft with a deck full of flowers in Lodo, downtown Denver.
She was the mother of two daughters, Shelley, 60, and Zoanne, who passed away in December 2016, and the proud grandmother of Dylann, 32, Jolene, 21, JJ, 19 and Zoey, 17. Her sister’s sons, Drey and Matt Samuelson, remain close, as do Ron’s younger brother and sister-in-law, Brett and Kathy Smith. Ron’s older brother Fred, also preceded Luanne in death.
She was the life of any party and a delight to all. She never had a bad moment or day and, until the day she passed, was happy and had a smile on her face. We were so lucky to have had the extra two years with her that her doctor didn’t project. She will be missed but never forgotten.
A celebration of Luanne’s life will be held Sunday, Aug. 12, from 1 to 4 p.m. on the Plaza level of the Ritz Carlton hotel, 1881 Curtis Street in Denver. Selected family members will speak precisely at 2 p.m. This is the party Luanne wanted — actually demanded.