Caroline Ruth Smith, age 86, of Knoxville, Iowa, passed away on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 surrounded by her family and friends.
Ruth was born in El Dorado, Kansas on June 14, 1934, the daughter of Andrew Joseph and Flora Mae Lehr. She arrived that day as one of a pair with her twin, Catherine Joann (Joannie). The two were inseparable, and for years they dressed identically.
After graduating from El Dorado High School, Ruth and her twin sister attended the Dodge City School of Nursing in Kansas, where they both earned their degrees as Registered Nurses.
Ruth married Charles Edward “Charlie” Smith on January 4, 1955. Charlie and Ruth lived in Greenville, MS until 1956 when they moved back to El Dorado, KS. Charlie began barber school and Ruth worked as a Registered Nurse. They developed strong work values, a love for family, and were blessed with six children: Kelly, Andy, Clay, Jay, Dave, and Amy.
In 1966 Charlie and Ruth moved their family to Knoxville, IA to open the Lil’ Duffer, what is now known as Mr. C’s Family Restaurant. Ruth helped at the restaurant while she worked nights as an RN at Westridge Nursing Home for many years. She retired from her long nursing career in 1996. Ruth and Charlie truly enjoyed 51 years of marriage and family before his passing on June 25, 2006.
Ruth was a longtime member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Knoxville and was active with the Altar & Rosary. After moving to Homestead Assisted Living, she was known for being social, for her unforgettable Facebook posts, and most of all her sense of humor kept everyone laughing.
Those left to cherish Ruth’s memory include her children, Kelly Smith of Winterset, IA, Andy Smith (Emily) of Papillion, NE, Clay Smith (Kayt) of Knoxville, Jay Smith (Laura) of Knoxville, Dave Smith (Julie) of Knoxville, and Amy Leavitt (Eddie) of Knoxville. She is also survived by two sisters, Patricia Evans and Joan Lewis; one brother, James Lehr; seventeen grandchildren; and twenty-two great grandchildren.
Ruth is preceded in death by her husband, Charlie Smith; parents, Andrew and Flora Lehr; and siblings, Mary “Biddy” Elizabeth Eaton, Richard Lehr, Julia “Judy” Badwey, and William “Bill” Lehr.
Visitation for Ruth will be held on Monday, May 31, 2021 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Knoxville from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. Ruth’s family will be present to greet friends and relatives. A rosary will be held at 7:00 P.M. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 10:30 A.M. at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Graceland Cemetery in Knoxville. Following burial, a luncheon will take place at the Church.
Memorials may be given in Ruth’s memory to EveryStep Hospice and Project H.E.L.P of Marion County (Handicapped Equipment Lending Program).