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Maurine P. Smith
1919 – 2011

Maurine SmithMaurine P. Smith was born of godly parents who immigrated to Utah from Armenia in the late 1800s. Her parents were actually children when their families made this move. She was just a twinkle in someone’s future. Her parents (about 20 years later), being very industrious, found employment. Her grandfather was a street sweeper. Her father became the owner and operator of Plowgian Auto Repairing...another strong family business that is being operated by his grandsons. No one in this large immigrant family was afraid of hard work...they were so grateful for the opportunity. Maurine was the first child of Aram and Elsie Plowgian. Born June 22, 1919, she was the first of four daughters and one brother. Maurine and her youngest sister are the only surviving members of her family.

Maurine graduated from high school and worked as an accountant for Anderson Jewelry where she worked as a personal assistant to the owner of the company. One day her mother sent her to a local store to buy a shirt for her brother. It was a fortunate day for her. The gentleman who helped her would one day be her husband and the father of her children. They had actually known each other at Forest Elementary School as children.

They dated and one day married. Blair was working in California for Union Oil before they married, so California became their new home. His next job was at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, UT. They moved to Salt Lake for their home and Blair commuted to Ogden each day. One day, a co-worker showed him a new vacuum -- A Filter Queen that was being sold door to door. Blair was always enthusiastic about anything he thought was good. His friend told him how “easy” it was to go door to door and sell these vacuums. It was the start of the vacuum business for Blair and Maurine and eventually for most of Blair’s brothers and nephews. John and Terry Smith presently operate Crown Vacuum in Phoenix. At one time, Blair’s brother, Byron Smith, had a store in Seattle. There were also stores in Bozeman and Portland.

But many things change with time. Smith-Crown started as a single line door-to-door business and through the years changed to be a multi-lined business that sells and repairs all brands of vacuums and Miele Appliances. At the young age of 57, Blair developed cancer. Maurine, very capably, continued with the business, growing it even more, taking on new lines and even adding a larger building for the business that had outgrown its previous space. To this day, at the young age of 90, she is at work every day, keeping track of what is happening and making sure things run right. She is the spirit of Smith-Crown. Maurine’s dedication to the vacuum industry will be remembered by her many customers and the employees who have worked with her through the years.

VDTA hall of fame member Maurine Smith, age 92, passed away peacefully at home Monday, December 19. She was born June 22, 1919