The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Alice Smith


February 19, 2020

Sept. 6, 1959 - Feb. 12, 2020

Alice Charlotte Smith, 60, of Sweet Home, died peacefully Feb. 12, 2020 after a recurrence of breast cancer.

She was born Sept. 6, 1959 in Valparaiso, Ind. and moved to

Oregon after high school. She attended Southern Oregon State College and Oregon State University. She earned a master of science degree in botany in 1994.

As a young woman in college Ms. Smith worked as a firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service. She led a hand crew to fight the Yellowstone Fire in 1988.

In 1985 she moved to Sweet Home, where she worked for 35 years as a botanist on the Sweet Home Ranger District. She retired in November 2019.

Ms. Smith was recognized for her excellence in the field of botany, winning both regional and national awards for her work. She led heritage hikes for participants to learn about and gather wildflowers, mushrooms and huckleberries. Her passion for protecting native plant communities and their ecosystems inspired her to mentor the next generation of natural resource managers.

Ms. Smith was also an avid birder. She traveled to Panama, Belize and southern Arizona on birding trips with friends and hiked the Oregon section of the Pacific Crest Trail with her sister Lucy in 1999.

She loved gardening and had a huge garden of flowers, vegetables and fruit trees with which she supplied her friends and family with produce and dried fruits.

She will be sorely missed by all her friends and family.

Ms. Smith is survived by three brothers, Julien (Abe) Smith of Hobart, Ind., Dominic Smith of Ashland and Andrew Smith of Ashland; two sisters, Christina Tomiyama of Los Angeles, Calif., and Lucy Smith of Santa Fe, N.M.

She was preceded in death by her parents, J. Norbert Smith in 1990, and Harriett Rex Smith in 2017; and her eldest sister, Susan Rex in 1992.

A celebration of life is being planned for the spring. For information, contact Nancy at (541) 401-1847.

In lieu of flowers, a donation in her honor may be made to the Institute of Applied Ecology in Corvallis, which can be contacted at (541) 753- 3099.


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