Martha Jean Smitten

February 23, 1936 ~ December 16, 2017

Martha (Martie) Jean McCarthy Smitten passed away December 16th, 2017 at Renown Medical Center from complications of COPD and pneumonia.

Martha was born February 23, 1936 in Lovelock, Nevada to Patrick McCarthy and Flores Case McCarthy. She was not breathing when she was born so they put whiskey in her mouth and stuck her behind the wood stove in a box wrapped in blankets. Martie had three sisters; June Whitaker, Joyce McClelland and Miki Dingee. The McCarthy clan lived in Lovelock, Santa Maria, California, and Fallon, Nevada. Martha graduated from high School in Fallon in 1954.She was class secretary her junior year, class treasurer her freshman year, cheerleader 3 years and on the girls’ basketball team 3 years. She married Gary Harrigan in 1956 and moved to Reno so Gary could complete his education. Martha and Gary had four children who survive her: Tracy Pagni (Terry Richardson), Mike Harrigan (Cindy), Leslie Bell (Gerald Christenson), and Mitch Harrigan (Beverly). In 1967 Martie and Gary divorced, and she moved back to Fallon as a single parent and the owner of the Fallon Theater and Roper Drive-In. Martie worked as a bookkeeper during the day and ran the theater at night and on weekends. She worked hard at multiple jobs to make sure her children had everything and were able to pursue their hobbies and goals.

In 1980, Martha went to work for Gallagher Livestock and ran the business side of the operation for 16 years. She married Ted Smitten on January 19, 1996 and retired soon afterwards. She and Ted lived on the Smitten family ranch west of Fallon and traveled extensively. These were the happiest years of her life. Martha lost Ted to Parkinson’s disease in 2012. She moved to Reno to be closer to her children and resided at Five Star Premier residence until dementia took away her ability to live independently. In addition to her sisters and children, Martha is survived by ten grandchildren: Donald Price (Nicole), Christina Price (Joe Romaine), David Dodge (Anna), McKenzie Harrigan, Patrick Harrigan (Aubri), Douglas Bell, Katherine Bell, Hawley Harrigan, Keith Harrigan (Angela) and Allyson Myers (Caleb). She is also survived by eleven great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Martha is finally free from dementia, the disease that took so much from her. She will be laid to rest beside her husband, Ted. Service will be held at Smith Family Funeral Home at 11:00 am, December 30th, 2017, with burial at the Fallon Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers charitable donations may be sent to the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation ( a tribute to Brady Price, or a charity of your choice.


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