Murl Smith

Obituary of Murl Pepper Smith

On March 29th, Murl Pepper Smith of Tucson, Arizona passed away peacefully at the age of 95. Murl was privileged to live in the home that she designed until her last breath.

Murl was born July 2nd, 1927 in Blanket, Texas. She attended school in Early, Texas and graduated from Early High School. She went on to attend Daniel Baker College and Howard Payne University, in Brownwood, Texas. She then attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, where she earned her master’s degree in education. Murl worked as a teacher in Balmorhea, Texas where she met her husband, Richard Leon Smith. They wed on February 12th, 1949 in Early, Texas. They were married for 70 years before his passing in 2019.

Murl was a resident of Southern Arizona for 64 years. She taught school for the Willcox Unified School District, Tucson Unified School District, and ultimately retired from Marana Unified School district in 1992. She was an English major who taught Home Economics and Drama. Murl had a curious, creative nature and loved the arts. She took pleasure in attending many theater productions over the years.

In her retirement, Murl transitioned from being an educator to raising emus. She worked with veterinarians at the University of Arizona to learn more about the exotic birds. She raised them from the incubator to adult stage and developed techniques to correct any issues she encountered.

Murl is survived by her sister, Patsy Pepper Armstrong, and Murls four children , Pepper (Tammi Bush) Smith, Carolyn (Phil) Mosconi, Janyth (Chuck) DeBusk and Douglas Smith; her nine grandchildren, Kenny (Michelle) Fox, Kirsta Mosconi, Mark Ballentine, Courtney Mosconi, Lance (Heather) Bradford, Britni (Jonathan) Hall, Tyler (Gisselle) Smith, Baylee Bush-Smith, and Taylor Fallon; twelve great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard Leon Smith; parents, Alvin Cleo Pepper and Veda Odell (Snipes) Pepper; brothers, Alvin Joe Pepper, Willie Dee Pepper, and John David Pepper; granddaughter, Mandie Lynn Ballentine; and many beloved friends and extended family members.

Murl’s service and visitation will be held April 15, 2023, at 3:00 PM at Adair Avalon Chapel, 8090 N Northern Ave. Private burial will be at the Texas Canyon Pioneer Cemetery in Texas Canyon. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please consider making a memorial gift to the Dementia Society of America or the Friends of the Sonoran Desert.

Pallbearers: Pepper Smith, Douglas Smith, Kenny Fox, Mark Ballentine, Lance Bradford, and Tyler Smith.

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A Memorial Tree was planted for Murl
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Adair Funeral Homes - Avalon Chapel
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