Merritt Richard Smyth

February 26, 1936 ~ August 1, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old


Merritt Richard Smyth
February 26, 1936 - August 1, 2023
Puyallup, Washington
Merritt Richard Smyth, a beloved resident of Puyallup,
Washington, passed away peacefully on August 1, 2023,
surrounded by his Daughters. He was born on February 26, 1936,
at Maynard Hospital in Seattle, Washington, to his parents, James
Beattie Smyth and Margaret (NMI) Scheiblberger.
Merritt's early years were spent in the Roosevelt district of
Seattle, where he shared cherished memories with his family. In
1941, the family moved to a small beach house with dreams of
building a new home. The family moved to a second house in
February 1948, creating new moments and connections in a
growing community.
Merritt's education brought him to Vashon High School, from
which he graduated in 1955. He spent his youth at Glen Acres
Beach, where he formed lasting bonds and enjoyed the coastal
beauty of the region. One of his notable companions during this
time was his horse, "Lucky," with whom he rode as part of the
"Trail Riders" teenage group, sharing in the joy and freedom that
comes from a deep connection with animals.
Following his high school graduation, Merritt embarked on a
journey into the logging industry, demonstrating his strong work
ethic and passion for the outdoors. He later chose to serve his
country and joined the United States Army, where he served as a
dedicated Military Policeman (M.P.) stationed in Japan.
Upon completing his service, Merritt's love for animals led him to
become a zookeeper at Woodland Park Zoo, where he
contributed to the care and well-being of the animals he
cherished. His commitment to this role mirrored his dedication to
those around him, leaving a positive impact on both his
colleagues and the animals under his watchful care.
Merritt found the love of his life when he married Kay C. Smyth
(McDonald) on October 23, 1959. Together, they embarked on a
journey filled with love, laughter, and shared dreams. They
welcomed two beautiful daughters into the world, Lori Kay
(Benkert), born in 1961, and Tracie Lynn (Budzak), born in 1963.
The family moved to Puyallup, Washington in 1968, where they
found a home that would be the heart of their family, a place
where memories were made and love was nurtured.
Merritt began his career with Puget Sound Power and Light
Company (Puget Energy) as a Lineman, then advanced to the
position of Line Equipment Operator. His dedication and hard
work spanned over 30 years until he retired, enabling him to
spend more time doing what he loved best. Merritt was an avid
gardener, and his Dahlias earned him blue ribbons at the State
Fair, a testament to his skill and passion. His love for the outdoors
extended beyond his garden. In the 1970s, he embarked on a
climb of Mt. Rainier, showcasing his adventurous spirit. Merritt
passed on his love for Vashon Island, where he grew up, to his
daughters, creating lasting memories of family vacations on the
In addition to his many passions, Merritt and Kay co-owned a
piece of land near Yelm, overlooking a beautiful lake in
Clearwood, Washington. They enjoyed camping out on this land
with their dear friends, the Schrodts and O'Bannons, creating
cherished memories of camaraderie and connection.
Merritt had a zest for life and a wide range of interests. He loved
watching wrestling, building things in his wood shop, and, of
course, nurturing his garden. His adventurous spirit and love for
the outdoors were contagious, touching the lives of his family and
Merritt was preceded in death by his wife Kay C. Smyth and
parents, James Beattie Smyth and Margaret (NMI) Scheiblberger.
He leaves behind his Daughters Lori Benkert and Tracie Budzak
(John). Grand Children; David Benkert (Heather), Dylan Benkert
(Allison Baker), Melissa Budzak, Matt Budzak, Jessica Prieto
(Henry). Great Grand Children; Willow Mae Shelton (Melissa),
Bonnie Kay Benkert, Lily Ann Benkert(David), Alex Grace (Dylan),
Addison Prieto (Jessica).
As we bid farewell to Merritt, we honor his life, his dedication to
family, and the indelible mark he left on this world. A private
celebration of life will take place in October.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to
Lions Club International Foundation , a cause close to Merritt's
Rest in peace, dear Merritt. Your warmth, kindness, and the
memories you've gifted us will forever remain in our hearts.

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