Cover photo for Viva Swainston Smith's Obituary
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1925 Viva 2023

Viva Swainston Smith

August 29, 1925 — September 29, 2023

Lewiston, Utah


Viva Swainston Smith - Obituary / Life Sketch

Viva Swainston Smith, age 98, of Smithfield Utah, passed away peacefully with family members near on the 29th of September 2023. She was born August 29, 1925, in Winder Idaho. Her parents were William Swainston and Harriet Fitzgerald Dalley. Viva was the youngest of their seven daughters. 

Her mother saw, and liked, the name 'Viva' in a book or magazine—which in Spanish means 'long life' or 'an expression of goodwill or approval'.  

Viva loved her parents and sisters, and the wonderful childhood she had. She felt special when she was able to be with her father as he worked on their farm. They rode horses together and won awards in matched-pair riding events. 

Viva attended Winder Grade School. She graduated from Preston High School and went on to study for one year at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

Within her 98 years of life Viva witnessed many changes, including the addition of indoor plumbing and electricity to her home. As a young child she and her sister, Laura, were so excited as they ran through the house turning the lights on and off for the first time. 

Viva married her childhood sweetheart LaVor Lindhardt Smith in the Logan LDS Temple on October 5, 1944. LaVor was serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. She was able to be with him during his service in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Florida. While in Madison Wisconsin, Viva supported the war effort by working at the Ray-O-Vac Company making walkie-talkie batteries for the troops. 

Following the war and LaVor’s release from the military in 1946, they lived in Preston, Idaho. In 1951 they purchased a dairy farm in Lewiston Utah, where they raised their family of six sons and one daughter. They resided in Lewiston for 57 years. 

Viva was a dedicated mother and expert homemaker. She found great joy in serving God, her family, and fellowmen. Though small in stature, she worked tirelessly to lovingly raise her children and maintain an orderly home. She also assisted LaVor with the farm in many ways—including driving the truck during the hay, corn, and sugar beet harvests. Viva prepared and delivered many meals to those working in the fields and others in need—often including food that she grew and canned herself.

Her husband LaVor served as Scout Master for 25 years. One can only imagine the number of scout patches she sewed on uniforms, by-hand, as her sons grew up in the scouting program—and then there was the washing of those dirty uniforms following campouts—on top of the mountains of the regular laundry and ironing an active farm family of nine would produce. However, Viva had a system, including color-coded thread sewn in the toes of all the socks and the names of the boys written inside of their underwear. Her Ironrite ironing machine was well used. The family always had clean and well-cared for clothes. 

Viva lived by and often repeated the motto, “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” Her outgoing and cheerful attitude and devoted faith brought comfort, encouragement, and hope to many people.  

Tastefully decorating their home for the various seasons of the year was something that brought joy to Viva. She loved the color red, and selected it often for use in her decorations and clothing. In the fall, she looked forward to seeing the color, “school bus yellow”, as it meant the start of the school year for her children. She lovingly prepared exceptionally delicious meals and made her home a haven of peace and joy for her family, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and friends. The smell of Viva’s wonderful cooking and a loving reception from both LaVor and Viva made anyone feel right at home.

Family traditions included assembling and decorating home-made gingerbread houses, and many other fun Christmas, holiday, and birthday parties. 

Just a few of the many foods she loved to prepare and share are: fresh peach pie, angel food cake (made from scratch… with a dozen fresh egg whites) piled high with fresh strawberries and whipped cream, peanut brittle, raspberry supreme cake, dinner rolls (oh, those yummy hot dinner rolls with butter and homemade jam), turkey dressing, roast beef, potatoes and gravy with “from their garden fresh frozen corn” with plenty of butter and the list goes on and on—each one prepared with two extra heaping cups of her special love and kindness—which cannot be purchased in any store.  

Unsurprisingly, Viva always advocated the use of real dairy products. She also enjoyed teaching the many uses of eggs in cooking demonstrations while working at Oakdell Egg Farms in Lewiston. Her “Viva’s Famous Deviled Eggs” recipe was featured on their egg cartons. 

She learned the practice of being on-time to any event from her father— “If you aren’t ten-minutes early, you are late.”

Some of her devoted service included callings in the Primary and Relief Society organizations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She learned calligraphy and beautifully completed many baptism and ordinance certificates. LaVor and Viva served in the Nigeria Aba Mission and the Mississippi Jackson Mission. They also served as ordinance workers for 12 years in the Logan Temple.

Viva had a strong love for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Her faith and testimony helped her through the challenges of mortality. She had an attitude of gratitude and often said, “I don’t know what we did to be able to receive the blessings we have. We are so blessed.” 

Viva learned to use a computer to type letters to family and friends while on their mission in Nigeria. Later in life, to help keep her mind sharp, she would put together a new jigsaw puzzle on the computer each day. Often Viva and LaVor had a running contest to see who could complete the puzzles the fastest—she won most of the time. 

Viva and LaVor moved to Hyde Park, Utah in 2007. They loved their friends and neighbors both in Lewiston and Hyde Park. 

Viva and LaVor celebrated their 68th anniversary prior to his death in 2013.

Viva was grateful to be blessed with good health. She was active and energetic. She had a total-knee replacement at age 92 and walked out of the hospital the next day. She was back to taking care of herself within just a few days. 

She regularly drove herself to attend family events, shopping, church, and the temple until she had a stroke at age 95. It was only then that she began to “act her age.” She then moved to Birch Creek Assisted Living. The family would like to express our gratitude to the staff and other care providers, including Intermountain Homecare & Hospice, for their compassionate service to Viva. 

She loved to see what her family was doing by following them on social media. Viva had a keen mind her whole life. One of her favorite questions to ask was, “How are the little ones?” She loved hearing about the things each one was doing and cheered them on.     

Viva is survived by six children: LaVor Lindhardt Smith, Jr. (Karen Cole) Nampa, Idaho, Glade Swainston Smith (Debra Pitkin) Smithfield, Utah, Gerald Alan Smith (Judy Ann Smith) Lewiston, Utah, Dee William Smith (Tom Norris) Bow, Washington, Judy Smith Tripp (Scott Paul Tripp) Richmond, Utah, and Steven Curtis Smith (Kim Brenchley) Pleasant Grove, Utah, 26 grandchildren, 66 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. 

Viva was preceded in death by LaVor (husband), their youngest son, Kirk Ingram Smith, her sisters (Harriet Swainston Palmer, Wilma Swainston Bright, Anna Swainston Condie, Rosa Swainston, Lenona Swainston and Laura Swainston), Laura Tripp (granddaughter), Reilly Ross Smith (great-grandson), and Charlee Blake Winward (great-granddaughter).

Funeral services will be held at 11:30 A.M. on Saturday, October 7, 2023, at the Lewiston 1st/2nd LDS Ward Meetinghouse, 10 South 1600 West, Lewiston, Utah under the direction of President Michael D. Gibbons. A viewing will be held on Saturday, October 7th from 9:00 to 11:00 A.M. at the meetinghouse. Interment: Logan City Cemetery. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at


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Saturday, October 7, 2023

9:00 - 11:00 am (Mountain time)

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Saturday, October 7, 2023

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Mountain time)

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