Share This Obituary


Kathleen Lorraine Smith Nelson Neufeld.

Kathleen Lorraine Smith was born in Watertown SD on March 13, 1927. She was the 7th child to Guy & Grace Smith, but the first child of theirs to be born in a hospital. The family lived in South Dakota for a short time while her father trained to be a butter maker. The family moved to Waterloo IA while Kathleen was an infant. At the age of two her mother died. Her father tried to care for her & her brothers & sister, but it was difficult as he had to work. He hired the caregiver that also took care of her mother.

As a young child she developed whopping cough. The ailment lasted a very long time & her grandmother thought she wasn't getting proper care, so she took Kathleen home to live with her in Green Mountain Iowa. Kathleen lived with her grandmother in a railroad car until she got married.

While Kathleen was still in high school in Green Mountain, she worked for the only bank in Green Mountain. After graduating from high school, she continued to work for the bank.

Mutual friends introduced Kathleen to Everett (Bud) Nelson. They married in Green Mountain in 1946. They moved onto her father-in-law's farm. Kathleen took care of the house. Bud helped his father work the farm. The children came, David in 1947, Douglas in 1948, Gary in 1950, Lorraine in 1952, & Paul in 1955. When the youngest was still an infant Bud moved his family out to California in hopes of a better future for his family. They settled in Capistrano Beach up on the Pacific Palisades. The last child, Lori Ann was born in 1957.

A few years later Kathleen went back to work as a Teller in a Bank of America branch in San Clemente. For this job she had to learn to drive. A few years later Bud moved his family to Madera California. Kathleen continued her career at a Bank of America in Madera. Two years later Bud moved his family to Clovis California. Kathleen stayed with Bank of America, this time working for a branch in Calwa California. Seven years later Bud moved his family back to Iowa. This time they lived in Cedar Rapids. The two youngest children were in high school. Bud decided to move on after a year, but this time without his family.

Kathleen, Paul, & Lori were now alone, on their own, in a place they did not want to be in the first place. Kathleen who had been home since moving back to Iowa, went to work for a refrigeration company. She & Bud were divorced. When she had saved enough money, she moved her & Lori back to California. Paul stayed behind in Iowa as he had graduated high school & was working.

Kathleen & Lori found an apartment in Fresno in the same complex as her other daughter & two of her sons. So for a few years the Nelson's occupied four apartments in the same complex. During these years Kathleen went to work for a TV repair shop as a bookkeeper. A co-worker introduced her to his father. She & Frank Neufeld were married two years later. They enjoyed camping on the weekends in Frank's travel camper. Soon they ventured into long term trips, eventually traveling to the East Coast & back.

Kathleen & Frank moved from Fresno to Oakhurst. Kathleen was able to get back into the banking field & keep her seniority at the Bank of America in Oakhurst. During their 15 years in Oakhurst they were very active in the community. They were involved in the VFW & the Senior Center, both working up to President of the Senior Center at seperate times. One year they were chosen to be the Grand Marshalls of the Rodeo parade.

Kathleen learned more than banking in her life. As a young girl & teenager, she learned cooking, baking, & sewing from her Grandmother. As an adult her interests multiplied to collecting. She collected clothes, shoes, hats, jewelry, teapots, books.

Her husband passed away & Kathleen continued to live in Oakhurst another 15 years. She was still a member of the VFW & continued to go to the Senior Center. Six years ago Kathleen sold the house in Oakhurst & moved into a Senior Mobile Home Park in Clovis. This is where she lived out the remaining years of her life.

Kathleen leaves behind her six children, 15 grandchildren, & 21 great-grandchildren.

Peace & God's Grace Be Yours, Kathleen, as You are Forever Safe in Heaven.

A Visitation will take place Wednesday January 24, 2018 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at
Tinkler Funeral Chapel & Crematory 475 North Broadway Street Fresno, California 93701.

A Celebration of Life will occur Thursday January 25, 2018 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at
Tinkler Funeral Chapel & Crematory 475 North Broadway Street Fresno, California 93701.

An interment will occur Thursday January 25, 2018 following the Celebration of Life at
Oakhill Cemetery 40188 Highway 41 Oakhurst, California 93644.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.tinkler funeral chapel.com for the Neufeld family.