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Joan Alice Smith

Joan Alice Smith was born August 9, 1928 to Harry and Clara McCullough in Racine, Wisconsin. She passed away August 26, 2008 after a courageous six-week battle with thyroid cancer.

She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and former registered nurse.

Joan met her husband, Bill, who fit her “perfect template” in Denver, Colorado, at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital where they were both stationed during the Korean War in 1953. Their marriage of 50 years began April 10, 1954 in her hometown of Racine, Wisconsin, at Granger Avenue Methodist Church.

Joan and Bill began their family in Eugene, Oregon, and shortly thereafter moved to Carson City, Nevada. They settled for ten years in Minden, Nevada, on a small but lively farm where they tended the garden, raised goats, gathered fresh eggs, and enjoyed the smell of freshly baked bread always wafting through the air. On a simple income from Bill’s teaching there was plenty of healthy, made-from-scratch, tasty meals for the many friends who were always welcome to join the ten already surrounding the dinner table. In 1980 they adventured eastward and after staying in many campgrounds along the way, settled in beautiful Missouri where the blooming dogwoods and redbuds stole their hearts.

Every night before going to sleep she would count by name her many blessings — her eight children, sixteen grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren: daughter Marcy Lankert and her daughters, Sarah and Anne, and Anne’s two sons, Bradley and Heath of Mountain Grove, Missouri; daughter Barbara Smith of Springfield, Missouri; daughter Dr. Jennifer Minnis and husband Richard of Plymouth, California; daughter Bonnie Wright and her two sons, James and William of Mountain Grove; daughter Mary Shuler and husband John and son and daughter Tony and Raquel Zevnick of Minden, Nevada; son Owen Smith and children Nathan, Eric, Zach and Amanda of Cabool, Missouri; son Tom Smith, wife Tanya and children Shane, Katrina, Carson and Tanara of Cabool; daughter Nancy Meesey, husband Chris and two sons Nate and Ben of Springfield, Missouri.

In the last years of her life, Joan was blessed to add to her large family by marriage, Edward Anck and his daughters and their husbands, Judy and Chet Ryer, Pam and Nathan Betz, and Sharon Anck.

Joan led a life marked with compassion, optimism, love and gratitude. Her most frequent expression was “Thank you, Lord!” She was an inspiring example of grace and dignity throughout her life and even in her death with her reassuring words, “I’m putting it all in the Lord’s hands.”

Her family would like to express their love and sincere gratitude to the staff of Kabul Nursing Home, St. John’s Hospice of Springfield and Community Hospice of Mountain Grove for their skillful, compassionate, loving care for the entire family.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents, sister Marcy Clair Akeley, daughter-in-law Darla Woolard Smith, and husband Bill Owen Smith.

Family and friends attended a memorial service for Joan on Sunday, August 31, 2008, at Church of the Brethren in Cabool. The Ladies of Shalom served a lovely fellowship meal and friend and Pastor Roger Schrock led the celebration of life memorial service.

As a registered nurse and in the true spirit of her giving nature, Joan donated her body to medical research. Monetary donations can be made to the American Cancer Society, Alzheimer’s Research, or HOPE Worldwide.

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