Vesla Tekle Smith of Magnolia died peacefully at home on November 16, 2021, just shy of her 92nd birthday. Predeceased by Ragnar, her husband of 60 years in August 2020, Vesla leaves behind her two sons, Erik (Seattle) and Edward (Boston), their partners, her young granddaughter, Leila (Boston), and her brother, Dagfinn Tekle (Melbu, Norway) as well as many cherished friends made during a rich and active life.
Born at Ongstad near Melbu, Norway to parents William and Hjørdis Tekle on January 29, 1930, Vesla emigrated to Seattle in 1958. There she met Ragnar in 1960, marrying him in 1961 and settling into the Magnolia home in which they would raise their sons and live out their lives.
Lively by nature, Vesla enjoyed action, walking frequently to Magnolia Village or even to Erik’s house on Queen Anne. She took pride in her home and yard spending many hours tending to her flowers. She had a sense of humor, lots of opinions and remained agile and spry until near the end of her life. Her artistic style emerged through the clothing she created for herself, and the cooking through which she delighted others. And she held a deep commitment to her family to the point of welcoming all the friends her sons brought home over the many years and becoming a surrogate mom to several.
Vesla was a big personality in a small package, so in passing leaves behind a large empty space. God bless her. May she rest in peace.
We will celebrate Vesla and Ragnar’s lives at a memorial open house on Saturday, December 11 from 1 to 4pm. Contact Erik at for details. Please make any remembrances to the charitable organization of your choice.