Nina Ramey Smith
December 15, 1928, to November 8, 2022
Resident of Pleasant Hill, CA 1951-2019
Resident of Bend, OR 2020-2022
Our dear Mother, Nina Ramey Smith, grew her wings on November 8, 2022, at 5:30 a.m. and decided to fly. Mom is now at peace in heaven with Christ Jesus and reunited with her beloved husband, Leo, daughter Laura and son Ronald, and the rest of the Smith/Ramey family.
Born in Terre Haute, IN, and growing up as the third of five children, Nina learned as a child how to be tough, most often surviving as the victor of many family wrestling matches. Her toughness would show up throughout her life.
In 1945, she moved to Oakland, CA, with her parents. Nina married Leo V. Smith on August 21, 1948, a marriage that celebrated 72 wedding anniversaries. Nina was a saint, having brought up a daughter and five rambunctious boys in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s in Pleasant Hill, CA, handling the challenges we brought home in a selfless manner with unconditional love.
To help support the family, she worked as a head cashier for Macy’s for over 25 years, and when times were tight, she took on various other part-time jobs. Nina not only brought up her six children (“gotta love those casseroles”), but she somehow managed to care for her and Leo’s parents as they aged. She always made time for others’ needs.
Always up for a challenge, Nina went wherever the family took her. Skiing and backpacking in the high Sierras, Lake Tahoe, Kirkwood Ski Resort, and Kennedy Meadows were some of the more frequent destinations. She always had the lunches packed, dinners planned, and details taken care of so the rest of us could enjoy every excursion. She was the glue that held our family together, always supporting her kids at their events and, more importantly, always available to be a mom when needed. She was excellent at being Mom!
Nina, along with Leo, was a collector of antiques and collectibles, eventually amassing one of the largest antique iron collections on the West Coast. Nina was proud of her 1/16 Cherokee Indian lineage. She was an avid Golden State Warriors fan.
Nina was determined as she survived many accidents. A broken leg while skiing, multiple broken bones in her spine and neck after a fall from a loft at age 81, breaking her neck again after a car accident at age 84. Her will to live was so great she lived an additional three months defying her doctor’s diagnosis in July 2022, not letting them tell her when her ending would be.
Nina is survived by her children Richard (spouse Imelda; grandchildren Gabriella and Guillemma), Robert (grandchildren Brian and Justin; great grandchildren Hannah Lynn, Niela, and Von), Daniel, and Michael (spouse Dana; grandchildren Colton and Delaney) and grandson Shaun Smith (great grandchildren Ronald and Bre’kayla), descendants of Ronald. Nina’s two oldest children, Laura (2008) and Ronald (1993), predeceased her. Nina is also survived by her brother Thomas Ramey, sisters-in-law Patricia Miller and Joan Smith, and many other family members and friends. We will miss Mom forever till it’s our time to reunite in Heaven.
Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Life for Nina Ramey Smith (passed November 8, 2022) and her husband of 72 years, Leo Vincent Smith (passed November 21, 2020) at Christ the King Church, 199 Brandon Rd., Pleasant Hill, CA 94523, at 10:00 a.m. on January 7, 2023. A reception will follow immediately afterward at Christ the King Parish Hall, followed with a burial occurring at 1:15 p.m. at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 1965 Reliez Valley Rd., Lafayette, CA 94549. Those unable to attend can livestream the Mass by going to ctkph.org and clicking on the “Watch on Facebook” link.