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Ruth Louise Smith

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Ruth Louise Smith Obituary
Smith, Ruth Louise Pfanstiel Ruth Smith, 94, born in 1919 to Bertha (nee Grapatin) and George J. Pfanstiel, in Cleveland, OH, passed away quietly on Friday, January 31, 2014. She will be remembered as a kind, generous and classy lady by everyone who was lucky enough to cross her path. In her early twenties, she ventured from the house her father built (still standing) in Lakewood, Ohio, to go to Washington, DC. She joined the ranks of the WACs (Women's Army Corps) to serve her country in WWII, as a secretary at Walter Reed Hospital. After the war, mutual friends introduced her to another recent veteran, Garland L. Smith ("Smitty"), originally from Boonsboro, MD, and they were married the following year in 1947. They settled down in suburban DC (Silver Spring, MD), where son Stephen and daughter Christine were born. They relocated to Lakewood, OH, in 1954 to be near Ruth's family and later bought a home in Olmsted Falls, OH. She worked as a secretary for a Cleveland firm, and Smitty's mother Edna joined them to help take care of the household. In 1961, they moved to Tempe, AZ, for Garland's new job, and Ruth went to work at the administrative offices at Arizona State University. Garland was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis not long after. When they became empty-nesters in 1974, she retired and they built their wheelchair-accessible dream home high on a hillside in Prescott, AZ. Ruth devoted herself to Garland's care, with the assistance of a group of wonderful caregivers, until he passed away in 2003. In 2005, she moved to Lincolnshire, IL, with her beloved black Labrador "Buddy," to be close to family and moved into an apartment in the just-built Sedgebrook retirement campus. She joined the Sedgebrook Singers and enjoyed frequent walks in the woods with her daughter until just a few months ago. Ruth was predeceased by her brother, Raymond (1913-1916) and sister, Adele Pfanstiel Ward (1907-1994); and her parents. She is survived by son, Stephen (Nancy) Smith and daughter, Christine (Steven) Dennison. She is also survived by family near and far grandson, Niel Smith (Irene Gorissen) and their kids Thomas and Emma in Amstelveen (The Netherlands); granddaughter, Pamela Smith Haffner and her kids Natasja and Bianca, in Bonne Terre, MO; grandson, Alain Smith in Leiden (The Netherlands); grandson, Alan Dennison in Chicago, IL; and grandson, Mark Dennison in Madison, WI. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Myelin Repair Foundation at www.myelinrepair.org (MS research) or the dog rescue organization of your choice would be appreciated. Remembrances may be posted by contacting memories@ruthlsmith.me
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication from Feb. 6 to Feb. 12, 2014
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