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Lenna Whetten Smith

05/06/1927 - 08/10/2022
Service Date: 08/20/2022
Service Time: 10:00 AM
Service Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - 1911 N, 24th Street, Mesa, Arizona
Visitation Date: 08/19/2022
Visitation Time: 6:00PM - 8:00PM
Visitation Location: Bunker's University Chapel - 3529 E. University Drive, Mesa, Az 85213
Interment: City of Mesa Cemetery

Live Stream Link To View Service:


Lenna Whetten Smith, born May 6, 1927 passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on August 10, 2022, at age 95.

She was born in Colonia Garcia, Chichuahua Mexico to Leonard David Whetten and Lettie Beecroft (div.). Her father then married Willmirth Skousen and the family moved to Colonia Juarez where Lenna grew up and went to school. Her father passed away a short time later when she was only 8 years old. After she graduated from high school, Lenna moved with her mother Willmirth and younger sister Melvina to Mesa, Arizona where she met Arvard! Lenna married Arvard R. Smith in the Mesa Arizona Temple on January 9, 1948 and together they had 9 children, 41 grandchildren, 79 great-grandchildren, and 6 great-great grandchildren. They started their journey living in Ajo, Arizona, then El Paso, Texas, and came back home again to Mesa in 1970 where they both lived out their lives.

Besides nurturing and caring for her large posterity, Lenna had many and varied talents and interests. She was a gifted musician and from the time she was a teen-ager until her mid-80’s, she was always her Ward organist and choir pianist.  Her music was a great blessing to others throughout her life. Lenna served faithfully in the Mesa Temple for many years along with her daughter Sharon and sister Ella. Lenna especially loved to travel and did so often – she loved gardening, reading, beautifying her home, spending time with family and loved ones.

Lenna was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and daughter. She was a friend to all and always welcomed others into her home. She was a life long active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, being a member of the Mesa 30th Ward for the past 50 years!

Lenna is survived by her children Sharon Bowlby (Ken), Kathy Tucker (Steve), Marie Nelson (Larry), Corinne Maldonado (Jim, deceased), Gail Tucker (Tom), Rogers Smith (deceased)(Katherine), Colette Burgess (Rod), Darrell Smith (Stacy), and sister Betty Jo Farnsworth Lamarca. She was preceeded in death by her husband Arvard Smith after 52 years of marriage, her sons Kevin and Rogers Smith, granddaughters Sherelyn Bowlby and Brittnee Tucker, grandson Christopher Smith, and her four sisters Arletta Taylor, Ella Anderson, Melvina Allen and Agnes Marine Whetten.

Viewing is Friday, August 19, 2022, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Bunkers, 3529 E. University Dr., Mesa (Val Vista & University).

Funeral services will be Saturday August 20, 2022 at 10:00 AM at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building at 1911 N. 24th Street with a visitation preceding the services at 9:00 AM.

Arrangements by Bunker’s Garden Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.


  • Catherine Halcomb

    What a sweet lady, so happy I was able to know her. So enjoyed traveling with her to Alaska. My heartfelt condolences to all the family.

  • Dear Family of Sister Lenna Smith: I add my thanks for the blessing of having known Sister Lenna. I too have lived in the Mesa 30th Ward for the past 50 years and for many of those years Lenna was indeed the organist for Sacrament Meetings and accompanied the choir and special numbers adding great devotion to our meetings. As an added blessing, when I would hear Lenna play, it reminded me so much of my own mother who also was an organist. I also have fond memories of Arvard playing the piano for priesthood meetings. Occasionally after a ball game report of one of the Ward Teams, as we separated for class he would quietly play “take me out to the ball game”, appropriate if you knew Brother Arvard. I wish for the blessings of heavens to be with each of you during your season of separation, understanding you will have the grand privilege of being together yet again. With love and respect, Roc Arnett

  • David Len Allen

    Lenna was my aunt. We shared the same name, both being named after her father (my grandfather). We both loved music and she helped me become more proficient in it early on. She always came to my musicals and operattas and I was glad to perform “just for her”. When my mom was sick (and in hospice) she let me crash at her house across town. (We stayed there often when we visited.) She sewed my only pair of jean shots I’ve have for 23 years–converting a long pair from DI because I could never find any “long” enough in the store. In fact I had my (first) wedding reception in her backyard, flowing lily candles in the pool and all! She was a very important person in my “becoming of age” in the world of Community Arts and Church Music–always an advocate and champion! I was very pleased to present a piano recital in her living room a couple of years back with all of my living aunties (and many of her loving daughters) present. Gob bless you all!

  • I love Lenna. She was beautiful inside and out. Her smile was warm and inviting and I especially loved seeing that smile when I would see her playing the organ and at the temple. She was often with a member of her family at church, in the temple, and at home. It was evident that she loved her family most. I will miss her smile and kindness to me. I pray her family will often feel her love in special ways and that they will find peace in knowing Lenna is happy and will see them again. Families are forever!

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