Rae Smeltzer

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Rae Smeltzer

Des Moines

Rae Smeltzer, 92, passed away peacefully November 13, 2012. The family will greet friends on Friday, November 23rd from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Wesley Acres, 3520 Grand in Des Moines. Private burial will be at Masonic Cemetery.

Born in Aurelia, Iowa, to Esther (Siegel) and Roy Becker, Rae moved to Des Moines after high school and became a licensed beautician. She married Jack on November 30, 1941. The next day, rather than be drafted, Jack joined the Navy and was immediately on his way overseas to serve in the South Pacific for four years. Together they raised three children, and for over 30 years worked side by side in four popular restaurants they owned and operated: Jerry Rae Café, Country Gentleman, Elbon Club, and Divi-Den Café. She managed to 'do it all' before women's lib was part of the vernacular - led Bluebird and Camp Fire groups, sewed her girls' clothes through high school, and prepared full meals from scratch with dessert every day. After Rae retired from the restaurant business, she worked part-time at Von Maur for 21 years.

Rae was resolute and creative in all she did, and always had time to help someone else. She volunteered at Wesley Acres, and put in award-winning volunteer hours sewing for Iowa Methodist Hospital Guild. She was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church, Daughters of the Nile, Shrine Ladies Auxiliary, and several bridge clubs. It was a good day when Rae played bridge, and a great day when she played the winning cards.

Rae is survived by her three children in Des Moines and eight grandchildren she loved so much: daughter, Janet Bannister and her sons, Christopher (Kathryn) and Tommy; daughter, Jalayne Noonan and her sons, Sean and Pat; son, Jake (Rhonda) Smeltzer and his children, Jessikah (Rick) and Joe; step-grandchildren, Jessica (Ryan) and Lauren Braune. Rae is also survived by her older sister, June Corderman. She was preceded in death by her husband in 1983, and by her three brothers, Roy, Glenn and Wayne.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. John's Lutheran Church, 600 6th Ave., Des Moines, IA 50309.

Published in Des Moines Register from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18, 2012
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