Obituary: Vena Meb Smith Wardell

Listen to this post

April 9, 1924 ~ Dec. 28, 2020

Vena Wardell

Vena Meb Smith Wardell of Rangely, Colorado, passed away peacefully on Dec. 28, 2020, at the age of 96. She was born April 9, 1924, in Riverton, Utah, the first of five children to Clifton and Alma Rasmussen Smith. She was the last surviving member of this family.

As a young girl, Vena traveled from Vernal where she attended school, and the Book Cliffs up East Douglas Creek, where her parents and grandpa John Taylor Rasmussen homesteaded. There were many homesteaders in the area brought in by Coltharp Company and Vena often recalled the fun trips to the Owen’s place for monthly dances up on the mountain. She was also very active with school and church activities. Vena graduated from Vernal High School in May of 1942 and just two months later married her only sweetheart, Harold Wardell.

Meb and Hal first lived 12 miles downriver from Rangely and soon began work on a cabin in the Book Cliffs. Summers were spent on the mountain and winters found them down on the Banta Homestead. Together they built a successful sheep outfit. With the oil boom, the Wardell’s moved to Rangely and many can remember watching football games from their home located above the old football field, where others came to admire her beautiful yard. And Halloween just wasn’t the same without a trip to Meb’s for those special popcorn balls.

Meb was very active in the Elkettes, the Republican and Libertarian parties, and the Ladies Woolgrowers Auxiliary. A bit of an adventurer and sportswoman, she became expert with the family snowmobile, an avid trap shooter and golfer. She enjoyed being on the ladies bowling team, often speaking of the fun trips they had. After cruising with Hal a few times, she took to cruising with her daughter followed by many trips they shared to Mexico. She was known for having a special talent and love for knitting and crochet and was a 4-H leader for five years.

In 2003 Meb and Hal sold their home on the hill and moved to Eagle Crest, where they decided a few years earlier to “retire.” After attending the grand opening, they put their bid on the only “couple” apartment. They both loved Eagle Crest and considered it a blessing to have such a facility in Rangely.

Vena Meb was preceded in death by Harold, her husband of 64 years. She is survived by her daughter Sharon; stepson Tom Hurla (Lois); one granddaughter, three grandsons, great-granddaughters, great-grandsons, nieces, nephews and cousins. She is also survived by her many special and appreciated friends.

Graveside services were held at the Rangely Cemetery on Monday, Jan. 4, 2020, at 1 p.m. at the Rangely Cemetery. Services are entrusted to the care of Vernal Blackburn Mortuary.

We would like any donations to be made to the Rangely Museum Society