Mara Elizabeth Smith, one of the brightest and most beautiful personalities to pass through this community, left us suddenly and unexpectedly in December. Like a shooting star, racing across the sky and gone all too soon, this grief-stricken valley and indeed the world, is a much lesser place without her.

Born in 1977 in Dallas, Texas, Mara spent most of her early childhood years on the family’s blueberry farm. Her family then moved to Colorado and finally Cape Cod, where she lived and grew up through adulthood. It was here where she continued to work tirelessly while committed to being a great mother and raising her son, Garrett. Shortly after meeting her future husband at a friend’s oyster party, she moved from the Cape to Sun Valley, where she was a resident for nearly 10 years. On the morning of Feb. 29, (Leap Year Day), following a cup of coffee and a decisive coin toss, she and Chuck were married that very same day.

With her flowing mane of red hair, incredible energy, playful spirit and gregarious personality, if Mara was in the room, you knew it. She also had an incredible work ethic that she took very seriously. Her dedication to her craft was evident in playing a role in the success of her management of the Sun Valley Club restaurant. She was also known as the “face” of the Konditorei restaurant. Forever fair minded, Mara treated every customer equally with the same respect, regardless of who they were. Always first to lend a helping hand, Mara mentored dozens of co-workers while employed at the Sun Valley Co. She adored her co-workers and it was more like being with family than colleagues. Mara was a leader and a team builder and made people around her better. Her generosity and helpfulness was renowned with her friends and family. She was also the best spouse anyone could ever wish for and a best friend.

With an impish smile and sparkle in her eye, she was spontaneous and with her awesome sense of humor, was always ready for a new adventure. Mara enjoyed numerous activities with her husband, including paragliding, motorcycle touring, frequent 4x4 off-road camping adventures, target shooting, sea kayaking, domestic and international travels, walking the dunes and beaches of their native Cape Cod, visiting Idaho hot springs, trail hiking, etc. Mara was also uber passionate about spending time with her family, her parents, her son and particularly her sisters, from whence countless acts of playful chicanery and chaos would ensue.

Mara leaves behind her husband, Chuck Smith of Sun Valley, Idaho; her son, Garrett Bishop of Harwich Port, Mass.; her father, Bill Barnatt, and stepmother, Judy Barnatt of Harwich Port, Mass.; her mother, Beverly Dodd Barnatt of Santa Fe, N.M.; her sisters, Annie Weil of Centerville, Mass., Rachel Miller of Santa Fe, N.M., and Vanessa Hartman of Corvallis, Ore.; and numerous friends, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.