Ruth Smith, 78, of Chariton, passed away July 2, 2022, at Lucas County Health Center in Chariton, IA. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, July 14, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. at the Pierschbacher Funeral Home in Chariton. Family will receive friends on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Interment will be at the Mt. Zion Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Ruth’s name may be made to the Chariton Senior Center or the Presbyterian Church.
The service will be livestreamed through the following link: https://my.gather.app/remember/ruth-smith-2022
Ruth Ellen (Craig) Smith was born May 23, 1944, in Abington, Pennsylvania to William and Evelyn Craig. She always laughed at the joke that she was an R&R baby. They moved to Toledo, Iowa in the fall of 1946 shortly before her brother, Bill, was born. In 1950, her little sister, Susie, was born. Ruth attended Toledo Public School and graduated in 1962. She then attended State College of Iowa and graduated from there in 1966. Landing a teaching position in Chariton, she began her career at Van Allen School in the fall of 1966. Ruth married Ron Smith June of 1967, and to this union two children were born, Jana Suzanne and Craig Michael. After the death of her father, her mother then married Robert Powell who adopted Ruth, her brother and her sister in 1978. Ruth and Ron divorced in 1994. After 38 years of teaching at Van Allen and Chariton Middle School, Ruth retired in 2005. She loved every minute of her teaching career and remained friends with many of her former students and colleagues. After retiring, she remained active in the Retired Teachers organization.
Ruth partook in many activities, before and after retirement. She was involved in Beta Sigma Phi sorority, the Presbyterian Church serving as an elder, City Council, served on the board of the Chariton Senior Center, Women’s Club, Red Hat Club, Town and Country Book Club, Great Decisions discussion group, volunteer work at the Manor and Homestead, helping with the Food Pantry, Interchurch Council, substitute teaching, her many bridge clubs, and she enjoyed playing cribbage. She enjoyed going to many auctions and collecting treasurers with her longtime companion, Dave Smith.
She was an avid sports fan, following many college and professional teams, and NASCAR races. But most importantly, she enjoyed following her children’s and especially her grandchildren’s activities.
Jana married Lee Cain in 1996 and gave Ruth two lovely grandsons: Aaron and Dylan. She attended many of their activities and enjoyed every minute of them. Craig married Jennifer Leeper in 2005 and presented Ruth with beautiful granddaughters: Taylor, Kaitlin, and Maci. Ruth also has a granddaughter, Caroline Van Pelt.
During retirement, Ruth traveled often with her mother, Evelyn Powell. They went to Canada, Kenya Africa, California and Oregon, Upper Michigan, Minneapolis, a river cruise on the Columbia River in the Northwest, a Mediterranean Cruise, and a trip to New England.
Ruth is survived by her children: Jana (Lee) Cain and Craig (Jennifer) Smith; grandchildren: Aaron (Abby) Cain, Dylan Cain, Taylor Smith, Kaitlin Smith, Maci Smith, and Caroline Van Pelt; sister-in-law, Cathy Craig; brother-in-law, Bruce McEltree; along with many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
Preceding her in death are her father, William Craig; her mother, Evelyn Powell; step-father, Robert Powell; sister, Suzanne McEltree; brother, William “Bill” Craig Jr. who just passed one week before Ruth; and her companion, David Smith.
To send flowers to the family in memory of Ruth Smith, please visit our flower store