Beloved Wife, Mother and Friend
Erna’s beautiful and adventurous life began on the tiny Danish island of Bornholm, where she grew up with brother Poul Arne and sister Annelise, under the loving care of their parents, Ethly and Oskar Smidt. Right from the start, Erna was an independent spirit. As a young girl, Erna knit Royal Air Force-colored berets in defiance of the occupying Nazi forces. Later, Erna’s spirit of independence prompted her to leave the island she loved for the capital of Copenhagen. There, as a young woman, a chance encounter with a gregarious Irishman, who had earlier participated in the liberation of Denmark, led Erna to the love of her life, William “Bill” Lockhart, whom she married in 1959. After moving to Los Angeles, Erna and Bill welcomed son William “Liam” in 1961.
While lovingly raising Liam, Erna continued her career, eventually serving as assistant to the Chairman of ARCO. Later, Erna worked as personal assistant for actor Eddie Albert, a position she held for 15 years, after which she and Bill retired to Imperial Beach in 1990. Never one to rest on her laurels, Erna soon became a fixture in Coronado, where she worked at Bay Books, organizing author book-signings (many in collaboration with the Coronado Library), a position she held until 2020. Erna also volunteered with the Coronado Film Festival.
Erna was filled with joie de vivre, and she never lost her enthusiasm for “what’s next.” After Bill died in 2011, Erna remained an adventurer, traveling whenever she could, often on her own. At home, Erna enjoyed gardening, reading, and entertaining. Ever gracious, and seemingly ageless, friends were drawn to Erna’s youthful open-mindedness, optimism, kindness, and her never-ending sense of fun.
Erna will always be remembered for her fearless independence, her compassionate heart, her incredible talent as a hostess, and her beautiful smile, which she was always quick to share. Erna is survived by her loving nieces and nephews in the U.S. and Denmark, and by her son Liam and daughter-in-law Cheryl, who were blessed to be by the side of this special lady when she passed, and who have been overwhelmed by the kindness, support and love Erna’s friends have shown the family. In lieu of flowers or donations, Erna would ask that you live life to the fullest, and travel, travel, travel!