Cover photo for Sally Anne Smith's Obituary
Sally Anne Smith Profile Photo
1948 Sally 2024

Sally Anne Smith

October 27, 1948 — January 17, 2024

Sally Anne (Gordon) Smith[1]  1948-2024

Sally passed away unexpectedly in her sleep on Jan 17, 2024.  She was the second of 7 children, first of two daughters born to Jack & Audree Gordon in Bakersfield, California on Oct. 27th in 1948.  Her parents both came from generational Standard Oil families which led to this family of nine relocating every two years throughout her formative years.  Sally developed many friendships throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Her earliest passion as known by all around her was animal husbandry, dogs, cats and her first horse which she won at a drawing in Bellevue, WA at the age of 11.  She dearly loved her family life with her sister and brothers.  There were many family gatherings at Hill’s Resort on Priest Lake and water skiing behind the family speedboat.  She kept very busy enjoying friends, showing horses and helping her mom with homemaking chores.  

She grew up in the era of Elvis, The Beach Boys, Beatles and The Rolling Stones[2] being amongst the first groups of fans in the early public performances.  The family moved to the San Francisco Bay area during the turbulent 60’s which became an influential time in the development of her personal creativity and free spirit.    

 In the 70’s Sally met and married the love of her life Joe Smith in remote Northeast WA.  Together they adopted the backwoods wilderness lifestyle as they purchased a large acreage of wooded paradise near Priest Lake Idaho with a historic 1800’s log cabin homestead.  They worked together renovating the cabin and developing a true “off the grid” experience well before it became popular in the US.  They were a living example of innovation and self-sufficiency supported by a solar powered system which they developed well before its time.

They lived on their remote ranch on the famous “Bearpaw” for 38 years and became well known locally and in the nearest towns which were Priest River, Idaho and Newport, WA.  Sally was just as comfortable with a chainsaw in the woods as she was with a saucepan in the kitchen.  In fact, they always had a chainsaw handy in their vehicle to help clear any fallen trees encountered as they embarked on the journey into town.

Joe was a manager at Priest River Glass while Sally and her lifelong best friend Patti Brown envisioned and founded Four Paws Pet Supply thereby fulfilling her childhood dream to work with and help animals.  Sally was well known not only for her Pet Supply business but because she served as the Newport Dog Catcher, Meter Maid, and Dog Trainer in the city park on Tuesday nights.  Sally would say that one of her crowning achievements was her involvement with and love for the German Shepard rescue effort.

Sally’s caregiving nature culminated with her serving 15 years at Newport Family Medicine working with the doctors and staff she dearly loved.  Sally was a career driven person with a huge heart and proudly entered into her retirement years after this time of service.  

Sally and Joe relocated to Newman Lake WA.  This was a very special time for them both as Joe became an avid bike rider on the Centennial Trail network, Sally enjoyed her part time job at Cabella’s and spending more and more time with her parents and siblings who had relocated to Spokane.  Love of sports[3] was a common thread that often drew them all together for celebratory events.  Sally’s Christian faith and local church involvement was very important to her. 

Sally is survived by her daughter Melody, grandchildren Jasmine and Colton, her loving companion Bennie the Cat and her siblings Todd (Cathy), Scott (Patti), Jim (Lynda), Rick (Debbie) and Suzanne (Tony).

Appendix:  The impact that Sally has had on her family and friends is indelibly etched on our hearts for ever and ever!  Her family requests that donations be made to Spokane SCRAPS 509-477-2532.  Notice will be given for a celebration of life for Sally held in the Spring.


[1] Affectionately aka:   Sal, SallyGal, Twisted Sister and we’ll always love you as …Sally BoBally

[2] It really happened:  Sally, in high school in 1966, snuck out of the house one night with friends, and drove 80 miles to Sacramento to catch a famous Rolling Stones concert.  She made it home before daylight, arose wearily in the morning ….no one the wiser!

[3] Sports:  Sally was a front row spectator of NASCAR, NFL Football, Mariners, Motocross, PGA Golf and the ZAGS.  She was present for the checkered flag at the Daytona 500 and the ZAG players could literally hear her cheering through her TV!

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