Music 04

Marilyn Dale (Smith) L'Esperance

August 9, 1932 ~ February 17, 2021 (age 88)


L’Esperance, Marilyn Dale (Smith), 88, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 at Desert Flower Assisted Living, Scottsdale, AZ. Dale was born August 9, 1932 in Cleveland, OH to Dorothy and Carl Smith. Growing up in Cleveland, Carl, her father, was a well-known prosecutor who helped bring down many notorious gangsters prominent during that time. Dale graduated from University High School in Ann Arbor MI, and then went on to complete a bachelor’s degree at Monticello College in Godfrey, Ill. She then attended Katherine Gibbs School, in Boston, Mass. After graduation, Dale worked for a prosecutor in a law office, following in her father’s footsteps. After dating for nearly 5 years, Dale married Earl Wallace L’Esperance on 8/13/1956 in Ann Arbor, MI. Their courtship included dancing for dinner at clubs around Ann Arbor!

Happily married for 40 years- Earl worked for SS Kresge Company, soon to be Kmart Corporation, and being good at what he did meant many moves for Dale, Earl, and their family (sons Steve and Marty) to the Midwest, North Carolina, and eventually to Oregon and California.

In addition to raising her sons, while navigating all the corporate moves, Dale had a great love for animals (Dale and Earl had many dogs through the years including Staffordshire Terriers, Dobermans, Huskies, and Golden Retrievers). She was also a passionate gardener- no weed in her yard had a chance!

After Earl retired from Kmart in 1988, Dale and Earl moved to Sun City West, AZ. Avid tennis players they lived in Sun City West for nearly 30 years. Dale would also find time to visit her grandchildren in Michigan, Ohio, and Washington State. An accomplished pianist, Dale loved to spend time tickling the ivories on her piano and organ. Dale could light up the keys with a Scott Joplin song that would have you dancing in the streets. She also volunteered at the Humane Society.

Dale chose to work part time in her 60’s. One of her favorite jobs was being a pet food sales representative for Nutro Dog Food. In the Petsmart in Sun City West they called her the ‘dog doctor’! She grew to love the Arizona Cardinals, and placed a ‘bet’ each week hoping they would bring home a win.

Dale will be remembered for her tenacity, honesty, resiliency, and sense of humor.

Survived by her two sons: Marty Logan, Steve L’Esperance, daughter-in-law Shawn L’Esperance, and four grandchildren: IceLyn Logan, James L’Esperance (wife Aileen L’Esperance), Kelly L’Esperance, and Scott L’Esperance.

Preceding her in death in 1995 husband Earl L’Esperance.

Dale did not wish to have a funeral. The family will hold a private interment.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Arizona Humane Society


Matthew 11: 28-30 Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Marilyn Dale (Smith) L'Esperance
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