Leona Smith

Leona Smith

Leona Smith of Plainwell passed away Saturday, July 26, 2014 in Plainwell. Leona was born September 8, 1919 in Gobles to Erwin and Lura (Turner) Kelly. She graduated from Gobles High School in 1937 as Valedictorian of her class and then attended Parsons Business College in Kalamazoo. Leona worked at Burroughs Manufacturing/LSI in Kalamazoo retiring after 27 years. She was member of PSI (Professional Secretaries International) and was Secretary of the Year in 1984. On August 20, 1939, in Gobles she was married to James L. Smith who preceded her death in 2011. They were married almost 72 years. Leona was a member of the United Methodist Church in Gobles where she played piano. For the past several years she was a member of the Otsego United Methodist Church where she was especially active with the making of the famous Apple Dumplings. She was an Avid Detroit Tigers fan; enjoyed golfing, bowling, reading, putting puzzles together, playing cards and canning fruits and vegetables; and especially loved to do embroidery making special gifts for all her children Leona was a farmer’s wife which placed her on the tractor in the fields and also cooking meals for farm hands for several years. She lived on their farm until 2012 when she moved to Stanford Lodge.

Surviving are three daughters, Janet (Bob) Cushman and Carol (Donald) VerHage and Shirley Hayse, all of Otsego; a daughter-in-law, Roxie Smith of Colorado; 13 grandchildren; 39 great-grandchildren; and 11 great-great-grandchildren; her siblings, Marion VanStrein and Erwin (Betty) Kelly. Leona was preceded in death by her son, Larry Smith; and a son-in-law, Daniel Hayse; and a brother Bernith Kelly. In keeping with her wishes cremation has taken place.

Friends may visit with Leona’s family from 6-8 P.M. Friday, August 1, 2014, at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego where a funeral service will take place Saturday, August 2, 2014, at 11:00 A.M., Pastor Joe Shaler officiating. Private burial of ashes will follow at Alamo Center Cemetery. In Lieu of flowers contributions in memory of Leona may be made to the Otsego United Methodist Church.

Messages of condolence may be posted at www.WinkelFuneralHome.com

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Messages of Condolence

  1. Bill & Brenda Standish says:

    To all of Leona’s family, we know that you are the results of a wonderful loving woman who’s love will remain with you forever in your hearts. You have our prayers and thoughts.

  2. Lenore Sartini says:

    My prayers and thoughts are with Leona’s family. What a loving and wonderful lady and I feel privileged to have known her and shared times together with her (and Jim).

  3. Sandie LoPresto says:

    Shirley, Carol and Janet I am so sorry to hear that you lost your mother. There is nothing worse. I will be out of town for her visitation but please know that you and all your family are in my prayers.
    Sandie Gilbert LoPresto.

  4. Janet & Bob Lamper says:

    Our thoughts & prayers are with all you guys, so sorry to hear about your mom. She was a real sweet person.

  5. Rich and Judy Haugh says:

    Mr & Mrs Smith will long be remembered as what parents should be to their children and their community family. always with a smile, a positive word of greeting and encouragement. We are so privileged to have known them both. Our condolences to the family and all who love them.

  6. yvonne watson says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Just keep all of the fond memories of the fun times you have had together with your parents with you.

  7. Budd and Carol Newman says:

    Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this time of loss. Leona was a wonderful person as was Jim. She will be missed but she has left behind wonderful values and memories. We both feel truly blessed to have known her.

  8. Susan Warmerdam says:

    How I wished I had the chance to meet and know Leona! It sounds like heaven is receiving one of its most special angels. May God bless her soul and complete all her wishes. My prayers and caring thoughts go out to all of you as you celebrate Leona’s beautiful life.

  9. Warren Barber says:

    Jim and Leona were good friends of my parents, Warren and Elizabeth Barber. Jim and my Dad often did business together. In later years they would all go out to lunch together and when driving became a problem one of their daughters drove! They are all greatly missed.

  10. Dan & Joyce McClellan says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you and your families. Leona was such a special lady and friend to my Mom. They shared so many projects through the years at the Otsego Methodist Church. God Bless!
    Joyce & Dan McClellan

  11. Debi Barna says:

    My visits to Mich will not be the same without out her. I loved just sitting and talking about recipe’s with her. She taught me to make the best pork chops ever! You are all very special to me and I am so sorry for your loss. Debi Barna-Colorado

  12. Dan and Sherlene (Schmitt) Belden says:

    Shirley, Carol, Janet and family.
    We are so sorry for your loss. May all of the wonderful memories you have ease your loss. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you during this most difficult time.

  13. MR & MISS MARSHALL HOWRIGON says:

    Leona was a special person , enjoy the great memories you all have of her. Our toughs are with you. Marsh & margaret Howrigon

  14. Wayne and Jan Laws says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you

  15. Dianne and Ken Burkhart says:

    Jan, Carol, and Shirley, and families,
    We are so very sorry for your loss. Your Mom was a lovely lady, and did a great job in raising you amazing girls!! Each of you, have become beautiful, giving women!! Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Dianne and Ken Burkhart

  16. Dan & Brenda Cowels says:

    Just learned today (8-2) of Leona’s passing. Dan met Jim at a farm auction around 2000 and soon after met Leona. They shared stories about the old farming days, tractors and various farm implements and eventually we joined Leona and Jim on an occasional Friday for a ride in the country, while they pointed out whose farm this was and who used to own that farm, our final destination being Jan’s cafe in Gobles for their fish fry. They so loved eating there. Leona was a very special lady and we feel privileged to have known her. Our deepest sympathy goes out to her family and friends.

  17. Steve and Sally DeWitt says:

    So sorry for the loss of your Mom. She was a very sweet lady that cared for her family and others. I
    Have many nice memories of her. Our thoughts are with you at this time.

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