Laree Smith Martin

Dec. 6, 2022


Longtime resident of La Crescenta, winning CVHS gymnastic coach, creative dance choreographer and devoted mother of five (Day, Dawn, Durette, Darren and Damon), Laree Martin took her final bow and made her exit peacefully at her Mohave Valley, Arizona home on Dec. 6. She was 81 years old.

Being the oldest of three daughters of Yvonne and Marty Smith, Laree was a leader in her family and later in her CV community. She, and her late husband Jim Martin, gave their time and talents to many sports and organizations. Laree was named Woman of the Year by the La Crescenta Woman’s Club. In 2015 she was inducted into the Crescenta Valley High School Athletic Hall of Fame after coaching CVHS gymnasts to many individual and team championships (1975-1993). Laree went on to fulfill a dream of owning her own gymnastic club and for 25 years it served many families in the Foothill and Inland Empire communities. During that time, she received the prestigious honor of being inducted into the SoCal Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

Laree was a natural athlete and teacher. She taught friends and family how to swim, water ski, snow ski, skate, tumble and dance. She was a go-go girl always ready to take on a project, solve a problem or plan an adventure. Her outstanding talent and determination inspired others and produced champions.

Loyalty and love were her guiding values in raising a family. She had a generous spirit and caring heart opening her home at times to teens who were struggling and needed a place to feel safe.

Laree is survived by her five children, 10 grandchildren, six great grandchildren and two sisters, Melody Bowers and Tere Wilshin. She will be remembered as an energetic, active, fun-loving woman and mentor who made a difference in the lives of those she touched.

A private celebration of life party will take place on Feb. 4 at the family home in La Crescenta.