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Las Cruces, NM 88001
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Rita Smith

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Rita Smith Obituary
Rita Louise Gibbs Smith, 87, went to the Lord our Savior at La Posada Mesilla Valley Hospice on Aug. 6, 2012. She was born July 8, 1925, in Las Cruces to Katherine and Charles Gibbs, the sixth of their eight children. Rita attended Las Cruces Union High School where she was an honor student and outstanding athlete, and Metropolitan Junior College in Los Angeles, Calif. For several years thereafter and during World War II, Rita lived in Southern California working in the accounting department of Pacific Bell and as assistant accountant for a trucking company. After returning to Las Cruces, Rita and her husband, Willard Smith, owned and operated Willard's Diesel Shop on Picacho Avenue, Smith's Mobile Home Village on Dona Ana Road, and KOA Kampground on the west mesa. She retired in 1996 after Willard's death in 1989, and has continued to reside in the city of her birth. Rita was a wonderful, caring lady with a beautiful smile, who loved to dance and laugh. She was a hard worker, dedicated business woman and a devoted and loving mother, grandmother and sister. She is survived by three sons, James Calmon (Cynthia) of Colorado, Timothy Smith (Laura) of Las Cruces and Everette Sonny Smith of Las Cruces; five grandchildren, Thomas Smith of Tucson, Justin Smith of Colorado, Travis Smith of Las Cruces, Charlie Clamon of Kansas, and David Harter of Texas. She is also survived by three stepdaughters, Katherine Parish, Louise Ivins and LaVonne Russell; one sister, Kathryn Black of Las Cruces; and many nieces, nephews, step-grandchildren, and friends. Rita was preceded in death by her son Richard Clamon, her parents; also step-son Thomas Willard Smith, Jr., daughters-in-law Wendy West Smith and Jessica Leege Smith; and by sisters Cecilia Cooper, Dorothy Hoffman, Loyola Smith, Marian Gibbs, Alice Coats and her brother Richard Gibbs. Visitation will be at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Tortugas on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. with a funeral Mass immediately following. Interment will be at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens on West Picacho following the Mass. Priests officiating will be Fr. Vincent Petersen and Msgr Robert Getz. The honor of being a pallbearer goes to Thomas J. Smith, Justin Smith, Charlie Clamon, Travis Smith, Frank Kershaw and Tom Scouten. Arrangements by Getz Funeral Home corner of Solano and Bowman Ave., Las Cruces, NM. 526-2419. To sign the local online guest book go to www.GetzCares.com.
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Aug. 9, 2012
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