Elma Jean Hoyenga, 100, of Roswell, NM passed away peacefully on Thursday, September 3, 2020 in Lubbock Texas following a fall. She was surrounded by her loved ones.
Jean was born on December 28, 1919 in Los Angeles CA to Charles Herbert and Lurline Sarah (Summers) Nichols. She was the youngest of two children.
Jean retired from the state of California where she was employed for over twenty years, she remained in California until 2003 when she moved to Roswell New Mexico. Jean graduated from Glendale HS in 1937.
In 1942 she married Charles Arnold Smith he proceeded her in death in 1967. During her amazing life in California she lived next door to John Wayne (Glendale) where they remained friends until his death.
She sang in the Methodist choir (Santa Monica) where her choir instructor was Art (Shank) Baker the movie star. She knew Shirley Temple when her mother was the personal clothier for Shirley. She was a professional synchronized swimmer with Esther Williams, trained to be on the US Olympic swim team. Her Uncle was a competitive swimmer and holds many world titles and was known as the Byron Summers “the flying fish” which later became the trademark for Catalina swimwear.
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She was very active and volunteered with many organizations in the State of California. Her Aunt Edith was a Professional Opera Singer in New York. Her parents were personal friends of Mark Twain. Jean was an avid ballroom and square dancer her entire life, she loved to swim, play bridge, and enjoyed every minute spent with her loved ones.
In 1978, she married Richard Eric Hoyenga, who was a Nuclear Physicist with Bechtel Corporation. He preceded her in death in 2005. She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. (She was blessed to have been a GREAT GREAT Grandma)
She is Survived by two children – her daughter Cheryl Hale of Roswell NM and her son Richard Smith of Brookings Oregon and 7 grandchildren – Lance Hale of Roswell NM, Troy Hale of Dallas TX, Dene Van Winkle of Roswell NM, Stacie Green of San Antonio TX, Mindy Smith of Culver City Ca, Karen Smith of Los Angeles Ca, Tammi Pickle of Simi Valley Ca 11 Great-Grandchildren – Nathan Hale of Roswell NM, Krista Lemmons of Roswell NM, Allison Hausman of Mesquite TX, Jessica Hale of Dallas TX, Jared Van Winkle of Roswell NM, Chelsie Housman of San Antonio TX, Devin Green of San Antonio TX, Chandler Green of San Antonio TX, Donovan Pickle of Simi Valley Ca, Dexter Pickle of Simi Valley Ca, Léonie Patenaude of Culver City Ca and 6 Great-Great-Grandchildren – Aedan Riley of Roswell NM, Veronica Riley of Roswell NM, Dylan Hausman of Mesquite TX, Arriana Van Winkle of Roswell NM, Jensen Van Winkle of Roswell NM, and Finn Hausman of Mesquite TX.
In 2019 Jean moved into Peachtree Retirement Community in Roswell where she made many new friends who became part of her family as well. She loved getting her hair and makeup done daily and enjoyed her manicures. She was definitely one classy lady. She will be greatly loved and missed by all.
Memorials may be sent to The Wounded Warrior Project.