Alie Elisabeth Wiegersma SmaaldersOctober 21, 1923—March 12, 2018

Alie Elisabeth Wiegersma Smaalders, writer, librarian, translator, teacher and storyteller, passed away peacefully at dawn on March 12, 2018, after a short illness. She was 94. Born October 21, 1923, in Drachten in the province of Fryslan, Netherlands, she lived through the German occupation before becoming a librarian in Amsterdam. She traveled to the United States in 1952 on a Fulbright scholarship at Carnegie Mellon and later attended UCLA, where she met another graduate student from the Netherlands, Oscar Willem Johannes Smaalders. They were married in Amsterdam in 1954 after which they emigrated to the United States and raised three children. She worked as a reference librarian, studied writing and translated stories from her native Frisian and Dutch into English. In 1982 Alie and Oscar retired to Lopez Island, where she became a much-loved storyteller. In 2001 she was chosen as a Jack Straw writer, and recorded “The Sky was a Brilliant Blue,” a collage of memoir, fiction and nonfiction stories about World War II. She is survived by her husband, Oscar; her children, Karen (Phil), Bart (Barbie) and Mark (Christine); and her grandchildren, Lorin, Brian, Alison, Galen and Marlise. A celebration of her life is planned on Sunday, May 13, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Lopez Community Center. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Lopez Island Hospice and Home Support ( Read more at