Cleo Bernadine was born to Ole and Bertina (Rusten) Olsen on September 6th 1942. She grew up in Hawley, MN.
Cleo was united in marriage to Dean Smith on February 11th, 1961 at Hawley Lutheran Church.
The couple moved to Cormorant, MN in 1970 onto Dean’s great grandparents’ homestead. There, they raised their 4 children, Michael, Tammy, Cheryl, and Timothy.
Cleo impacted countless lives through her work throughout the years as a bus driver, a caretaker of Mount Carmel Bible Camp, activities leader at Lakeland Mental Health, Teens Encounter Christ retreats, Jail Ministry, and Celebrate Recovery. For over 30 years, Cleo loved seeing how Celebrate Recovery changed people’s lives through Christ.
A true passion of Cleo’s, since the time she was a little girl, was working with horses. She would both ride horses and drive big teams on wagon trains. Another highlight of Cleo’s life was spending time with her grandchildren.
Cleo enjoyed retirement with her two old horses while living in the middle of an evergreen grove that her and Dean planted years ago. Deer, birds, and a wild turkey named Henry would visit regularly. The animal visitor that Cleo most enjoyed seeing was a red cardinal named Tweet Tweet who would visit every day and even knock on the window.
As a woman of God, Cleo would take any chance she had to share the message of Jesus. Her prayers and Christian influence will last in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to know her. “Only what you do for Christ will last.” She celebrated her 80th birthday in heaven, passing on September 6th, 2022.
Cleo is preceded in death by her parents, Theodore Olsen (brother), husband, and son (Michael Smith). She is survived by her sister, Sharon Powell; her daughters, Tammy Smith and Cheryl (Tom) Herfindahl; her son, Timothy (Elizabeth) Smith; eleven grandchild and eight great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M., followed by the prayer service at 7:00 P.M., Monday, September 12, 2022, at Wright Funeral Home, Hawley, MN. Visitation will continue from 10:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M., followed by the funeral service at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at Christian Fellowship Church, Detroit Lakes, MN. Burial will be at Lake Ida Cemetery following the service.