Doris Smith Buckmiller, daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, returned peacefully to her Heavenly Parents on July 13, 2020, at the age of 90, with her daughter Gloria at her side. Doris was born on December 28, 1929, to Herbert Hall and Henrietta Carlisle and from day one made the most of every moment. She married her high-school sweetheart, Lyle Russell Smith, on November 19, 1947, and with him had four daughters: Wendy, Colleen and Jolleen (commonly known as “The Twins”), and Gloria. Doris and Lyle filled their family’s life with love, laughter, and joy, with many trips to Bear Lake, Lake Powell, and Echo Reservoir.
Soon after Lyle passed away too soon in 1991, Doris retired from an illustrious career as co-CEO at Food-4-Less, where her go-getter attitude and love for others earned her many awards. While in retirement, Doris began serving at the Jordan River Temple, where she met Naaman Buckmiller. Doris and Naaman later married and channeled their selflessness and love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ into many more cherished years serving in the Temple. Doris and Naaman also took their powerful companionship on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1995 to 1996 in Saint George, Utah.
Doris was a sun around which her family revolved just as her family was her universe. Over the years, she held her family together with unconditional love and yearly events that brought everyone together even as her family grew. Sunday dinners filled Doris’s home with the smell of juicy roast and potatoes, her walls rang with laughter during family card games and swimming pool parties, and her daughters always looked forward to McDonalds Saturday breakfast with mom.
Every summer, the Smith Family Fun-a-thon gathered everyone for a weekend of bonding and, of course, fun, with girls’ night dinners, boys’ golfing, pizza, volleyball, and bowling. To complement the Family Fun-a-thon, Doris always held an annual Christmas Party, where Santa would make a special appearance and the family would coerce and conspire for the best White Elephant gift. Doris believed that the “family that plays together stays together,” and that attitude has become a family motto.
Doris and Lyle ensured that their family always loved to play together by infusing their children and grandchildren with a love of sports, especially golf, bowling, and the Utah Jazz. Everyone gathered around Doris to watch Jazz games and follow her lead in directing the ball into the net with pointed fingers and lots of faith. That faith may just have won the Jazz a few games over the years. Doris and her family even enjoyed one last classic Jazz game together on Doris’s 90th birthday.
In addition to cheering on the Jazz, grandma Doris also appreciated beauty in the arts. One of the greatest honors in the family was getting an invitation to go to The Nutcracker at Ballet West with grandma. It was our family’s golden ticket.
At all times, Doris was a faithful disciple of her Savior, Jesus Christ, and her unwavering testimony of eternal families was a central influence on her focus on her family. That eternal perspective and constant, loving discipleship made her a constant source of support and love, with calls from grandma or mom coming at the perfect time to cheer us up. She was ever an instrument for her Heavenly Father in caring for and giving her daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren a taste of what divine love is like.
Doris concluded her bright and far-reaching story at the Legacy House, where she was cared for by wonderful staff, nurses, and her family. Thank you to all those at the Legacy House and the Cottage for taking such wonderful care of our Doris.
We will miss Doris. We will miss how special and precious she made us feel. We will miss her constant positive and upbeat attitude. We will miss her saying that every day was her “best day so far.” We will miss her cute smile, her warm hugs, and her bright spirit.
We love you, Doris! We love you, mom! We love you, grandma!
A viewing and graveside service will be held on Saturday July 18, 2020. The viewing will be at 12:45-1:30 located at Cannon Mortuary 2460 Bengal Blvd. (7600 S.), Salt Lake City, 84121. Followed by a graveside service at Larkin Sunset Cemetery 1950 E 10600 South, Sandy UT 84092. The courtesy of wearing a mask and physical distancing is requested.
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