Cover photo for Valerie Smischny's Obituary
Valerie Smischny Profile Photo
1932 Valerie 2023

Valerie Smischny

March 30, 1932 — August 15, 2023

Pelican Rapids

Valerie was born March 30, 1932, in Fort Scott, KS, to James Wheeler and Marie E. (Hergenreder) McKee.  She was baptized and confirmed in Fort Scott, KS. where she attended elementary school. At the beginning of high school, she moved with her family to Chipeta Park, CO. It was there that Val met Dean Smischny, who would soon become the love of her life. She attended Manitou Springs High School, graduating in 1950. After high school, she attended college at Fort Collins, CO A&M before joining Dean in Nagoya, Japan where he was stationed in the Air Force. They married on October 12, 1952.

In 1956, Val and Dean moved with their two children to Colorado. As their family grew from two children to eight children, she continued to stay actively involved in all her children’s interests and activities. Valerie’s life centered around supporting her husband and her family, which continued until her last breath. She was selfless with her time, her love and support; always making time to listen and share loving pearls of wisdom. She supported each child by being involved in PTA events, ballet recitals, piano lessons, Boy Scouts, Campfire Girls, Arapahoe Rescue Patrol, choir and various school and sports events.

Val loved children, so when the youngest daughter was in preschool, Val returned to college. She attended Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, CO where she earned a degree in early childhood education. Known for her ability to work with children, she then went on to start her own preschool in Englewood, Colorado and taught until the late 1990’s.

From the time Val was two, she spent her summers at Lake Lida in Pelican Rapids, MN with her parents, friends from Fort Scott, and later with her own family. In 2007, Val and Dean decided to make Pelican Rapids their permanent home.

Val loved a good visit and a hot cup of coffee. If you stopped by the house you would hear, “Let me get you a cup of coffee, a cookie and let’s visit.’ (There were always homemade cookies in the cookie jar for the grandkids.) If you called on the phone, you might endure a short pause and then hear Val saying, “Let me pour myself some hot coffee”, and then “let’s talk.”

Val’s faith was at the center of her life. She was a devout Catholic. She served the church as a member of The Alter and Rosary Society at All Souls Catholic Church in Englewood, CO, and was an active member of St. Leonard Catholic Church, Pelican Rapids, MN.

Valerie Ann (McKee) Smischny, age 91, of Pelican Rapids, MN, passed peacefully on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, at her residence with her loving family by her side.

She is survived by her children: Rick (Roberta) Smischny, Deana Mosby, Suzanne Smischny, Ron (Lyn) Smischny, Denise Smischny, Tim (Stacy) Smischny, Matt (Holly) Smischny, Ann Bergquist; grandchildren: Jeff Smischny, Andy Metzler, Katie Scherer, Shannon Beck, Andrea (Nick) Tye, Sara Smischny, Nick (Jamie) DeGeest, Tiffany (Jeremy) Rivers, Weston (Tiffany) Smischny, Jennafer (Dave) Clancy, Greg Smischny, Alex Smischny, Rebecca Lemke, Josie Bergquist, Colton Bergquist, and 13 great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Dean.


Visitation: Thursday, August 24, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Larson Funeral Home, Pelican Rapids, MN.  Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church.

Funeral Service: 11:00 a.m., Friday, August 25, 2023, at St. Leonard Catholic Church, Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, with Father Jeff Ethan officiating.

Burial: St. Leonard Catholic Cemetery, Pelican Rapids, Minnesota

Please keep Valerie's family in your thoughts and prayers.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Valerie Smischny, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, August 24, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Larson Funeral and Cremation Service

12 5th Avenue NE, Pelican Rapids, MN 56572

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Funeral Service

Friday, August 25, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

St. Leonard Catholic Church

36 1st Ave NE, Pelican Rapids, MN 56572

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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