Lenore Franz Smith
October 5, 1918 - January 23, 2012
Lenore Franz Smith was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on
October 5, 1918 to first generation immigrant parents. She passed away
peacefully on Monday, January 23, 2012 at the age of 93.
Lenore was passionate about education; she began her studies by
marching over to the local school and demanding to be enrolled at the
age of four. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin in 1946, was
elected to Phi Beta Kappa Phi Kappa Phi, and went on to earn her Master's degree in Speech.
Lenore was active in both theater and radio from her
early 20's. She performed with the Milwaukee Civic Players
and was also a storyteller for WTAQ radio in Green Bay.
Lenore taught Spanish, Portuguese and speech at Wayne State
University in Detroit, Michigan where she also performed
radio. While there she met Larry Smith, an engineering
student. They married in September of 1950 and had two
children, Karen and Martin.
Lenore and her family moved to Walla Walla in 1966
and it was not long before she found a second home in
the Walla Walla Little Theatre. From 1967 to 2004, Lenore
worked as a director, producer, and most memorably as a
dramatic, comedic and musical actress in fifty-four Little
Theatre plays. One of her favorite and most memorable
roles was that of Ethel Thayer in the 1981 production of On
Golden Pond. Lenore was also extremely proud of her role
as the Co-director of The Subject Was Roses, which won the
Washington State Community Theater competition in 1985.
Lenore was a member of the Pioneer Methodist Church
and was a substitute teacher in the Walla Walla Public School
District. For many years, she read weekly to children at the
public library and was involved in 4-H and Girl Scouts.
Lenore is preceded in death by her parents August Franz
and Nellie Mueller, and her brothers Hugo and Albert Franz.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Karen and
Robert Guest; her son and daughter-in-law, Martin and
Cathy (Jones) Smith, and her six grandchildren, Michael,
Lauren and Mark Guest and Jackie, Kristie and Olivia Smith.
A celebration of Lenore's life will be held at the Walla
Walla Little Theater, 1130 Sumach at 1pm Sunday, January
29th. Remembrances can be made to the Walla Walla Little Theatre.