In Memory of
Melissa Kay Smart
January 16, 1969–January 10, 2020
Melissa Kay Northrop Smart passed away peacefully at her home on January 10, 2020 at the age of 50 with her husband at her side. She was born on January 16, 1969 on a cold and snowy day in LaGrande, Oregon. In 1970 her family moved to Salem, Oregon where she spent most of the rest of her life. After high school Melissa moved to Eugene. In 1991 at the age of 22 she was baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The following year she chose to go on a mission for the church and was called to the Belgium Brussels Mission, a French-speaking mission that covered parts of France, Luxembourg, and Belgium. During the year and a half of her mission, Melissa honed her French and lovingly served as a representative of Jesus Christ to the people in her assigned areas. She developed many close friendships and grew in her faith and testimony of the Savior during this time.
When Melissa returned from her mission she moved back to Salem, attending Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon and majoring in English. She met Bryan Smart in October of 1998 at a Halloween barn dance held by the local singles ward of the church. They quickly fell in love and married in the Portland Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Saturday, June 26, 1999. Over the next several years Melissa and Bryan joyfully experienced the birth of their four children Josie, Noah, Jonah, and Zoë. Melissa was happy to make caring for her children and husband her full-time job, and was the heart of their home throughout her married life. Melissa was a dedicated wife, loving mother, fabulous cook, talented artist, and a lover of books and period TV dramas. She had an infectious sense of humor, clever wit, and a way with words that makes me wonder why we didn’t have her write this. Melissa was a great student of the scriptures, and continued to serve in the church in many capacities, from secretary in the stake relief society presidency to primary teacher and everything in between. She made her family’s home a place of peace where the Spirit of the Lord could reside. She was a courageous woman who did all she could to remain with and raise her family in love and righteousness. As Proverbs 31:10 says, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”
She is survived by her husband Bryan Smart, children Josie Virginia, Noah David, Jonah Bryan and Zoë Melissa Smart, brothers Jeff Northrop and Mitch Northrop, sister Marni Postlewait, and parents-in-law David and Lois Smart, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her grandparents Josie Kuhn and Theron and Kay Northrop, parents Theron Northrop Jr. and Gena Northrop, brother Greg Northrop, and uncles Bobby Kuhn and Norman Northrop.