Cover photo for Priscilla Devaney Smith's Obituary
Priscilla Devaney Smith Profile Photo
1926 Priscilla 2023

Priscilla Devaney Smith

August 8, 1926 — August 15, 2023

Priscilla Devaney Smith, 97, a lifelong resident of Pocatello, passed away peacefully on August 15 after a long illness. She was born August 8, 1926, to Michael and Sarah McNichols Devaney. Her early years were spent on a ranch in Tyhee where she had a pet lamb named Ring-Around-The-Rosy and rode her horse to Tyhee Elementary School. Her family raised turkeys and sheep which were shared with friends and neighbors. Michael was an engineer with the railroad and later a grievance man in the Brotherhood of Trainmen. He died in a car accident with a bootlegger when Priscilla was only 8 years old. Sarah was the first woman Bannock County Clerk and re-elected whenever she ran for the office. The Devaneys are loyal Democrats! Even her Republican friends were honored to vote for her. Priscilla was very proud of her mother and her drive to advance women in business and she went on to mentor many women during her banking career.

Priscilla, her mother, and brother, Robert, moved to Pocatello shortly after Michael’s passing. Priscilla attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School through eighth grade and graduated from Pocatello High School in 1944. Her early years were spent working at Halliwell Drug as a soda jerk, bagging nuts for friend and neighbor, Jack Anderegg, and as a messenger with the Union Pacific Railroad. She met Phil Smith while working on the railroad and it was his great good fortune that he caught her eye! They married in March 1946. The marriage was later blessed in the Roman Catholic Church when Phil was baptized into the faith by his friend, Monsignor Edmund R. Cody. Three daughters were born to this marriage: Kathleen Smith-Meadows (Gary), Leslie Smith Toevs (Rolland), and Nancy Smith Herrick (Jon). Priscilla has six grandchildren: Sarah (Angela Curran) and Philip (Katie) Meadows, Meghan Toevs Duey (Eric) and Alex Toevs, Lauren Herrick and Kari Herrick Black. She also has five great-grandchildren: Greta Duey, Olivia and Hannah Meadows, Charlotte and Sawyer Black.

When Priscilla was a child, she contracted Diphtheria which resulted in severe scoliosis; she lived with back pain her entire life, controlling it with only aspirin and swinging her golf club. She covered it well and continued to wear stilettos throughout her banking career.

Priscilla worked in banking, advancing from teller to operations manager, to mortgage and commercial loan officer and retired in 1990. She was a member of the National Bank Women’s Association and a strong advocate for women in banking and business.

She volunteered for many years with the local hospital in admissions and in the gift shop where she worked closely with dear friend, Lucille Hovorka. She received two Volunteer of the Year awards during her tenure.

Throughout her life, Priscilla was a passionate reader of mystery, biography, and historical novels, and she loved to travel, visiting Europe many times with Phil, Frank and Lesley Morris. Eugene and Eileen Armour of Mildenhall, England, became great friends during one of these visits and they exchanged tour guiding duties in the United Kingdom and the United States. Phil and Priscilla often visited Mexico, Hawaii and Palm Springs.

Priscilla read the Idaho State Journal every day and listened to NPR to keep up-to-date. If there were any articles about local authors, she always purchased their books to support our local people. When their dear friends, Jim and Betty Howard, built a cabin at Palisades, Phil and Priscilla were there to lend their backs and support. She loved to spend time at the cabin with the Howards, fishing, reading, and enjoying the peace.

Priscilla was a faithful member of Holy Spirit Catholic Community, attending mass with dear friend, Francie Stephens, up to just a few weeks ago. She served on the St. Joseph’s Altar Society and the State Deanery. Phil and Priscilla helped to build the “new” addition to St. Joseph’s School in the mid-60’s. Priscilla visited the sick, bringing Communion to the homebound, and was a longtime member of the Council of Catholic Women.

From her early years in Beta Sigma Phi, she gathered a group of fun friends and they had a great time whenever they were together. The group’s parties and family weekend gatherings at Palisades Reservoir are legendary.

Priscilla was a devoted caretaker for Phil’s mother and aunts as well as her own elderly relatives. She spent many weekends visiting her aunt in Shoshone, doing laundry, cooking a week’s worth of meals, and cleaning her house. She loved them all and it showed.

Priscilla is survived by her daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, by sister-in-law Katherine Smith (C. Arthur), cousins Marilyn Devaney, Michael Devaney (Kathryn), and Linda Devaney, and numerous nieces and nephews. Surviving friends include the Stephen and Brenda Howard family, the Ray and Terry Grant family, the Rebecca Howard Blake family, Eugene and Eileen Armour, the Primbs family, Francie Stephens, and the Blackwell family.

Preceding her in death were husband Philip W. Smith, parents Michael and Sarah Devaney, brother Robert Devaney and his wife Hilda, dear friends Betty and Jim Howard, Richard (Dick) Mooney, Lesley and Frank Morris, and Willie Meadows. And we cannot forget Mac Smith, her devoted shih-tzu buddy, by her side for 14 years.

A Catholic Mass will be held Tuesday, August 22, at 2 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 439 N. Hayes, Pocatello, conducted by Rev. Emil Parafiniuk. There will be no public viewing or visitation. Cremation has taken place. Burial services will follow at Mountain View Cemetery, 1520 S. 5th Avenue in Pocatello.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Idaho Food Bank, 555 S. 1st Avenue, Pocatello, ID 83201, or through for the Southeast Idaho Food Bank, serving the Pocatello area.

Memories and condolences may be shared with the family under the Tribute Wall tab above.

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

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Tuesday, August 22, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Tuesday, August 22, 2023

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Tuesday, August 22, 2023

4:00 - 5:00 pm (Mountain time)

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