Phoebe “Mimi” Sue Smith, age 88, passed peacefully on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, in her home in Phoenix, Arizona, surrounded by people who love her.
Sue was born to Walter Owen Openshaw and Phoebe Nichols on October 15, 1933, in Mesa, Arizona on the table in her grandmother’s kitchen (the obvious choice while her cousin’s birth was taking place upstairs).
Sue and her husband, P.J., met and quite rebelliously eloped at the Florence prison in 1953, and the two were married for nearly sixty years when he passed in 2013. Sue is survived now by six of her brothers and sisters and her nine children—Dennis, Kerri, Nikki, Toby, Tracy, Andee, Geoff, Lanie, and Sunny. Sue also graces the world with an impressive twenty-five grandchildren and forty-five great-grandchildren—each of whom will lovingly remember her as Mimi Sue and will argue over who she loved the most.
Mimi Sue was a truly devoted Child of God who happily and selflessly loved her family, her church, and her friends in a way that could not be captured in these few short words. She will be remembered driving around in her yellow convertible mustang, preparing for the next luncheon, sewing a “get well quilt,” and always looking to celebrate someone or something—especially when she got to sing Happy Birthday the “right” way. She was a proud Daughter of the Utah Pioneers and served as a leader of the Young Women’s groups and her ward’s Relief Society at her church for many years. The most important lessons she leaves behind are to confidently sing show tunes whenever possible, generously spend whatever you are able on others, pledge allegiance to the flag with intention, and forever fiercely love the color yellow.
A celebration of this wonderful woman will be held on Monday, December 6, at 10:00 AM, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (address below). Following the service, Mimi Sue’s burial will be open to family and close friends at the VANational Memorial Cemetery of Arizona at 12:30 PM, so she may torment P.J. once again. Please join an open reception at her home at 3:00 PM to share a story and celebrate her extraordinary life. In lieu of flowers, Sue’s family respectfully requests donations for their Christmas tradition of adopting a family and that everyone wear something yellow.
Church Service at 10:00 AM: 3601 E Shea Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85028. Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com.