Laura Michelle "Shelly" Smiley

  • Born: September 22, 1951
  • Died: January 17, 2014
  • Location: Desert Hot Springs, California

Rose Mortuary & Crematory

66424 Pierson Blvd.
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
Tel. (760) 251-7673

Tribute & Message From The Family

Laura Michelle "Shelly" Smiley was born at Kern County General Hospital in Bakersfield California to Rolland Eldridge Howell and Maxine La Verne Hulse Howell. She married Thomas Bruce Smiley on September 3, 1988 at Lake Tahoe, Nevada.

She passed peacefully at sunset, January 17, 2014 at her home in Desert Hot Springs, California with Chaplain Alan Singing some of her favorite songs and husband Tom Smiley, brother Larry Howell, Niece Kimberly Bretz by her side.

Laura had several occupations through her life. Dental Assistant, then became a Car Leasing Agent where her love of cars was fulfilled, Laura's knowledge of automobiles was wide and varied. She also was a state certified car sales person and had technical inspection licenses for taking manufactured vehicles from factory to delivery. Laura's last profession was that of Service Coordinator for Palm Valley Home Owners Association. Facilitating repair and maintenance of client properties. Her special talents were caring for customer needs to completion with the personal care as well as professional diligence. Home Owners had great confidence when Laura was handling the situation. She was Loved by coworkers and contractors alike for tenacious and caring application of her knowledge and skills.

Laura was using her nickname of Shelly for at least 40 years professionally and personally, short for Michelle. She loved to make friends and was always trying to help people in her life have a better one. She had two Volkswagens she loved to zip around in. Her love of cars started in High School with friends in Car Clubs and working on Dragsters. As a young woman, Laura, was an accomplished speed skater and was interested in competition at one time. Once again cars and racing interested her as she moved into Dirt Bikes, fast Ski Boats and high end cars she leased. Laura was given a family nickname of "Butterfly" by her Great-Grandmother Rosa Mae Russell Hughey (born in 1880, a pioneer woman who passed away in 1967 when Laura was 16 years old). It has always been known within the family that Grandma Hughey thought Laura was a lot like her. She spent a lot of time as a girl flitting from one interest to another, a flower, a bird, a butterfly, and rainbow much like a butterfly happily going about it's time on earth. Hobbies and interests were never pursued without passion for Laura. Her last and best hobby was her "Iron Butterfly" Harley-Davidson.

Laura was a lifelong California resident, living in places such as El Segundo through High School. Then Garden Grove, Laguna Beach, Tustin, and Orange. Settling in Desert Hot Springs in 1999 until she passed.

Laura will be cremated and a memorial service will be held at Palm Valley, 76501 Begonia Lane, Palm Desert, California 92211, on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 1:30 in the afternoon.

Laura is survived by her husband, Thomas Bruce Smiley, Stepsons Matt Smiley, Steve Smiley, Aaron Smiley, Brett Smiley, Step granddaughter Taylor Smiley and adopted granddaughter, Bella Rivera. Her Brother Larry Howell, Niece Kimberly Bretz, Nephew David Howell, Grandnephews Scott Layton, Kenneth Graham and Jared Howell. Grand Niece Markie Layton, Great-Grandniece Braylee. Her stepfather Truman Jess McCann and stepmother Louise McCann. And dozens of cousins.

She is also survived by all of her friends, clients and coworkers at Desert Resort Management, Palm Valley Home Owners Association.


Condolence & Memory Journal

I was unaware of her passing at the time. "Aunt Shelly" had such a kind and gentle presence in my life and she is an important part of my earliest childhood memories. I wish I could have known her longer. I was saddened to learn of her passing.

Posted by Kimberlee M - CA   August 01, 2016

I'm sorry for your loss Tom. She was a wonderful person to me while I worked at Palm Valley. If you need any help I'm close by and don't mind. I came by your home a year and a half ago and we met.

Posted by Aaron Earhat - Desert Hot Springs, CA - Friend   January 22, 2014

Shelly was my friend and employee for 8 years- a better secretary there wasn't - she was so organized and efficient. I owe my success as the manager of a car leasing company in large part to her; she kept me on target! We become friends (as neighbors) then I invited her to come to work for me. I'm so glad she did (that was in 1976). Like her many friends and family I will miss her bunches. The only joy in this is knowing she is not suffering any longer. Tom and Larry I will keep you in my prayers for peace and comfort with her passing. My love, Caroline

Posted by Caroline Wasser - Tustin, CA - A close and personal friend   January 22, 2014

Tom, my the Lord bring you peace in your heart knowing that Shelly is not suffering any longer. We had good times and we had bad times as co-workers, but Shelly will be remembered for her smile and her laugh. She had a way with homeowners and that says a lot about her personality.

Posted by Donna Graham - Kingman, AZ - past co-worker   January 22, 2014

I will alway"s remember the good times that we had together. You will be missed and we will meet again someday, God Bless

Posted by Kathleen (Howell) Smith - Fair Oaks, CA - Sister-In-Law   January 22, 2014

I will always treasure the memories we made when Scott and Markie were little and how much you loved to come and visit so you could play with them. I will forever remember you voice Aunt Laura. I miss you, but I will see you again some day! I love you!

Posted by Kimberly Anne Howell - Bretz - Friant, CA - Niece   January 21, 2014