Smith—Patricia “Patty” Anne Thurston Smith, 70, slipped into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior on Aug. 25, 2021, after a two-year battle with cancer. Her husband of 47-plus years, Bruce Warren Smith, was by her side, along with close friends at their residence in Greentrees Village, Florence, Ore.
Patty was born on Oct. 26, 1950, to Charles “Bud” and Helen Thurston of Franklin Square, N.Y., on Long Island.
She enlisted in the U.S. Army (1970-75) and served at Fort Ord, Calif., and at the U.S. Army Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, Calif. She was awarded several commendations for her work ethic and exemplary duty including the Army Commendation Medal (ARCOM).
Patty also spent 23 years with NASA’s Space Shuttle main engine program at Boeing Rocketdyne in Canoga Park, Calif., and the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Her dedication to her job as an executive assistant, hard work and joyful spirit, resulted in her receiving numerous awards, including NASA’s prestigious Silver Snoopy Award.
Her favorite Bible verse, Joshua 1:9, was framed by her bedside when she went to be with the Lord: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Patty is survived by her husband Bruce; sister Regina (Thurston) Ruggiero of North Caldwell, N.J.; brother James Thurston of Oyster Bay, N.Y.; and numerous nieces and nephews in the New York and New Jersey area.
Patty’s ashes will be inurned with military honors at the veteran’s Roseburg National Cemetery, 913 NW Garden Valley Blvd., Roseburg, Ore. A funeral service will be held Sept. 17, 2021.