Cover photo for Maryan Adele Smith Lawrence's Obituary
Maryan Adele Smith Lawrence Profile Photo
1929 Maryan 2021

Maryan Adele Smith Lawrence

May 6, 1929 — January 7, 2021

Maryan Lawrence, 89, passed away at 11:20 a.m. on Friday, December 4, 2020, at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada.  

She was born to James and Nellie Shope Smith in Sparks, Nevada, the oldest of five children.   Maryan grew up, attended school, married, worked and raised her family living her entire life in the Reno/Sparks area.  At the age of 22, Maryan met her future husband and the love of her life Francis Reece Lawrence (Frank).  Their first date occurred on December 31, 1953 (New Year’s Eve) and they were married on April 10, 1954.  Together they celebrated 58 years of marriage until Frank’s passing in June, 2012.   

She is survived by her brother Jim Smith, Sparks, NV, her sisters Margie Esenarro, Sparks, NV and Carol Capurro, Reno, NV. Maryan believed her seven children turned out to be her greatest accomplishment and with great pride, has celebrated their growth and achievements over the past seventy years.  Her children include:  Richard Young (Nancy), El Dorado Hills, CA; Shirley Stevenson (Jerry), American Fork, UT; Frank Lawrence (Maureen), Veradale, WA; Alan Lawrence, Sparks, NV; Theresa Gardner (Bill), Reno, NV; Craig Lawrence, Reno, NV; and Michelle Lawrence, Portland, OR.  Maryan has 14 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren.  Maryan was also preceded in death by her brother Robert Smith and her grandson, Isaac Lawrence.


Maryan was hard working and fiercely independent.  She was prudent with her resources allowing her to be generous with others.  For over fifteen years, prior to her retirement, Maryan’s last job was working for Eagle Service and American Federal Savings.  She created, prepared and managed accounting and financial reports.   Maryan’s attention to detail and persistence in documenting accurate spreadsheets and completing extensive federal reports impressed her managers who valued and depended on her work ethics and skills.

Maryan had various interests and hobbies.  On weekends, she diligently explored thrift stores, and estate and garage sales, often with her two sisters Margie and Carol by her side.  Her expertise and knowledge about antiques, collectibles, and jewelry grew over her lifetime.  She was a personal encyclopedia for those who knew her.  She did the research and was a perfectionist in repairing and/or restoring antiques to their original beauty.  Her hunting and bargaining for “treasures” with unbounded enthusiasm is legendary in the family.  Maryan was a member of the Reno Antique Bottle Club for decades.  She volunteered time to the Nevada Historical Society and was a worker at elections.  Additionally, Maryan was an enthusiastic gardener.  She enjoyed working in her yard composting, planting seedlings and flowers, and growing fruits and vegetables. In the spring and summer, her home was beautifully surrounded with color.  She took particular pride in her iris and cactus gardens.   She was generous with sharing the bounty of these efforts.   Maryan was an avid recycler devoted to preserving mother earth.

Maryan was fondly referred to as tenacious, intelligent, loving, and sharp as a tack to name a few.  After a nine-hour day of working in her yard, she proclaimed she felt as strong as an ox shortly before her passing.  She had a great sense of humor and was a terrific story-teller.  Maryan lived a rich and full life and she was an incredible example to all who knew her.  She was honest, fair and ethical displaying an insightful vision of right and wrong.  Her mind retained its sharp intelligence, her spirit its courage, and the ever-present glimmer in her eyes, anticipated her next activity.  She remained independent in her own home, driving herself and managing her own affairs until the end.  Her son, Craig Lawrence, lived with her for the last several years as protector, companion and friend. 

Maryan was cared for by the compassionate staff at St. Mary’s who provided exceptional care and kindness to her and her family during her final days.  

A celebration of Maryan’s life will be planned at a later date. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in the name of Maryan Lawrence to:  Nevada Historical Society, 1650 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV  89503.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Maryan Adele Smith Lawrence, please visit our flower store.


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